February 14th doesn’t only celebrate Love with the widely popular and somehow commercialized Valentine’s Day, it also celebrates the equally important love but the one for a good wine ?!
February 14th is also called St.Trifun’s day. Trifun is the Saint guardian of wine and vine growers that is celebrated in the orthodox cultures in the Balkans. Saint Trifun lived in the third century and is now considered the patron saint of wine. On this day every year in Macedonia and the wider Balkan region local priests bless the branches of the vine plant, praying for a good season. The vine growers prune a few vines and sprinkle them with wine to restore the power and life’s juices in the plants after a long period of hibernation. This tradition symbolizes the strong relationship that exists between the land and the spirits and the idea with it is to wish for a fruitful and bountiful harvest.
This is a practice done in the fields, vineyards or gardens to protect the grape from illnesses which might be caused by various insects and animals, predominantly mice. The practice is followed by a feast with a lot of Macedonian wine. The feasts are accompanied with a lot of laughter, singing and dancing which makes the entire tradition even more interesting.
In case you haven’t tried the Macedonian wines we hope that this short story entices you to do so. As we Macedonians usually say – glass full of wine is like a glass full of sun, good mood and positive emotions. The Macedonian sun shines over the beautiful grapes all year long and from there come the finest wines. So every time you taste Macedonian wine you taste our spirit, optimism and thirst for life!