Girls doing a traditional dance for Lazaritsa in Bulgaria
Today is Lazarus Day (Лазаровден); also known as Lazaritsa (Лазарица). Lazarus Day occurs eight days before Easter. Due to the fact that Easter is determined by a lunar calendar, not the solar calendar, Lazarus Day falls on a different date every year, but always on Saturday. On this day, there are set customs. Young women pick flowers for bouquets that they’ll bring to the church for blessing on Palm Sunday (the day after Lazarus Day). The girls dress in traditional folklore costumes and go about the houses of the village singing special songs (Lazarki) asking for health, prosperity, happiness, a good harvest, and blessings upon all concerned. However, in houses where unmarried young people live, the girls sing special songs about love. The householders give them money, eggs, fruit, and small gifts. In past times, suitors proposed to their girlfriends on Lazarus Day.