What do you mean it’s Valentine’s Day?
It’s nearly here Tab readers… St Triffon’s day is almost upon us and we hope you’re as excited as we are!!!
What do you mean you don’t know what we’re on about? God you atheists are mainstream. How do you not know about St Triffon aka ‘The Pruner’, ‘The Drunkard’, ‘The Noseless’?
Ok maybe we’re being a bit facetious… if you’re not Bulgarian then chances are you probably know nothing of St Triffon the Pruner, patron saint of vineyards, wine producers, and bar owners. In case you’re wondering why The Tab is now doing articles about Bulgarian Orthodox saints, his feast day coincides with St Valentine’s day, and is actually (we believe) superior to the now somewhat corporate Valentine’s day.
So with that in mind we’d like to present to you 5 reasons why you should cancel that dinner reservation with your better half (assuming you have one), call up your mates, and prepare for a Big Balkan Bonanza.
1) It’s basically a religious obligation to get sloshed and party
You’ve got to love a saint whose nickname is ‘The Drunkard’. Famed for his love of red wine (which he used to make) having a bottle or 5 of a nice red is really the only thing we imagine he would have an issue with you skipping out over the course of your festivities. But you should still be responsible: one story tells of how, before he was a saint and possibly under the influence of his favourite tipple, he made fun of the Virgin Mary when she appeared to him in his vineyard. Miffed, she told him to cut off his nose with his pruners, which he promptly did. Oh yes, I’m sure you think you’re hardcore for downing a dirty pint for your NekNom, he puts you to shame.
2) It’s inclusive
A common charge levied against Valentine’s day is that it excludes those who are aesthetically or personably challenged (i.e. the ugly and/or boring) and makes them feel like crap. Well good news! Bulgarians (and now you) use St Triffon’s day to get together with all your friends and have a good time. Sure couples nowadays might give a card to each other, but Triffon’s really the guy calling the shots today!
3) It’s cheaper
Come 14th February you won’t need to be dishing out on expensive chocolates or three course meals in fancy eateries. St Triffon’s day comes with a traditional spread including chicken, sausages, omelette, fresh bread, and cheese cake. By our calculation this should cost a party of 8 about £20 from Tesco. However the spirit of it is more in having fun with your mates, so I’m sure Triff won’t be cross if you just get a takeaway instead.
4) There’s no sacharine cards, cutesy rhymes, or tacky merchandise
Good news: ‘Roses are red, Violets are blue, Nothing in this crazy world, Could keep me from loving you!’ doesn’t rhyme in Bulgarian. Neither do any of those oft-used, slightly creepy funny ones like ‘Roses are red, Violets are blue, I have a gun, Get in my van’. As an added benefit, our research shows that St Triffon’s day also lacks any form of tacky crap like cards or presents. And if you STILL feel obliged to bring a gift to someone, then a bottle of red is again the most appropriate gift to give (the astute among you may have noticed a wine theme in this article).
5) It’s so good you can do it twice in a year
In the Old Calendar his feast day is on the 1st February, but on the Gregorian calendar (the one we use now) it’s the 14th. Most Bulgarians do it on the 14th, but it is perfectly acceptable to do it on the 1st. And in fact it means that if any of your mates can’t do it on the one day, you can just do it on the other: there is no maximum or minimum limit to the number of mates you need for a good St Triff’s day.