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The Etropole Sons-in-law Feast

posted Jul 10, 2012, 12:54 PM by Sys Admin   [ updated Nov 3, 2012, 2:42 PM ]
The beginning …

    The idea of the feast was born in 1971, when a group of heads of departments in the Etropole Municipal People’s Council walked through the municipal settlements and stayed in the small restaurant of the village of Ribaritsa. At about two o’clock in the afternoon the architect Zhivko Philipov, the financier Dako Petrov, the tax inspector Tsolo Bojilov and the Chairman of the Municipal Committee for Arts and Culture Nikolai Koev got ready to leave.
In retaliation to the mockery of Atanas Grebenarov, the Chairman of the Municipal People’s Council, that all who were leaving were afraid of their wives for they were sons-in-law living in the houses of their parents-in-law, Nikolai Koev facetiously asked who would put their town in order if there were no such sons-in-law.

    All of them unanimously decided to make their own feast. Nikolai Koev, who was a son-in-law from the town of Oryahovo living in the house of his parents-in-law, volunteered the task. He began to track down how many sons-in-law living in the houses of their parents-in-law there were in Etropole. Six hundred and forty sons-in-law appeared to be a quite impressive number for such a small town as Etropole.

    Initially, a Management Board of the Association of the Etropole sons-in-law was formed. Nikolai Koev was the founder, the organizer and the chairman. A Standard Bearer, a Head of the Customhouse and Assistants were lected.

    Nikolai Koev assumed the entire responsibility of preparing the script for the feast. He wrote the text and the music of the Confession song, which became the hymn of the sons-in-law.

    Although only men had the right to participate in the first manifestations, the wives and the mothers-in-law of the sons-in-law also took active part in the organization of the feast. The women were the audience. Later, the content of the event was expanded and the wives as well as the mothers-in-law began to participate in the event. It was found that there was a son-in-law in every third house. The sons-in-law were divided into the following categories:

    A: (the Elite Category): Sons-in-law who had come from other places but who had built their own homes
    B: Sons-in-law who lived in the houses of their mothers-in-law
    C: Candidate sons-in-law

    The opening of the festival took place on the Zolyovets Square, near the old and legendary fountain made by the Craftsman Zolyo.

    The small square was crowded with brought, misled and well-fed sons-in-law, sons-in-law living in the houses of their parents-in-law, quiet wives, benign mothers-in-law and lots of guests who had come to take a sip of the purifying spring of laughter. All sons-in-law, led by the leaders of the association, drank water from the Zolyo’s Fountain in order to calm the family spirits and rumours.

The carnival procession started from the Clock Tower.

    At the first sons-in-law festival the association didn’t have a flag yet and during the manifestation the Standard Bearer held pink knickers while the Assistants held the legs.
    The pageant recreated moments from the real lives of some sons-in-law. Later, during the following festivals, the association already had a beautiful silk flag with an emblem showing crossed broom and shovel behind a pierced bleeding heart, which meant Laughter through tears, Crucified, with Wounded Heart.

The flags of the visiting associations followed the flag of the sons-in-law.

Groups from all over Bulgaria passed in neat rows.

    A regular participant in the sons-in-law festivals in Etropole until his death was the great Bulgarian actor and son-in-law Grigor Vachkov, who was chosen and acted as an honoured chairman of the association.

    Another solemn ritual followed. The fresh sons-in-law in Etropole publicly took an oath for peaceful coexistence with their mothers-in-law and fair distribution of the housework between them and their working wives, assuming in this way the status of sons-in-law who would live in the houses of their parents-in-law. The sons-in-law appeared on the stage in socks, with rubber rabbits tied around their necks – a symbol of their coming woe.

Following the oath of the young sons-in-law, the awarding of the Golden sons-in-law began.

    The previous day, in the afternoon, a traditional soccer game was held on the stadium. During the first festivals a comic match between the teams of the old sons-in-law and the young sons-in-law used to be organized. The whole game was a parody – a humorous attraction of ingenious sports inspirations.

At the recent festivals the game was between sons-in-law and daughters-in-law.

    Live and genuine humour and hot wit flowed from the whole feast. All was a product of the local enthusiasm and the ebullient and sportive self-confidence with the tireless Nikolai Koev – the founder, the inspirator, the organizer and the ordinary performer of everything related to the feast, in front.

The residents of the town of Etropole are not only inheritors of the Sons-in-law Feast, but they also preserve the memories from the past and keep the traditions of their homeland alive.




The Etropole Sons-in-law Feast 2012




The Etropole Sons-in-law Feast 2012


ć
Sys Admin,
Oct 9, 2012, 2:21 PM
ć
Sys Admin,
Oct 17, 2012, 2:56 AM
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