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Litiyno shestvie (religious procession)

Litiyno shestvie (religious procession)

About the event

Corridor: Diagonal Road, Eastern Trans-Balkan Road
Country: Bulgaria, Bachkovo
Litiyno shestvie (religious procession)

Thousands of orthodox Christians from far and near places in the country and abroad come to the Bachkovo Monastery for Easter. The believers come to light a candle to the miraculous icon of the Holy Virgin which is the most precious treasure of the Bachkovo Monastery. Legends tell that it was found by shepherd-boys in a place called Kluviyata some 400 hundred years ago. From there it was brought to the Monastery where it’s kept until today. People believe that it has healing powers.
Every year on the Bright Monday (the second day of Easter) there is a religious procession (litiyno shestvie) from the Bachkovo Monastery to Kluviyata in honour of the Holy Virgin – healer of the ill. It’s believed that the powers of the icon of the Virgin are at their peak on this day. The procession begins at about 8 am when the icon is prepared to leave the Monastery for its annual journey. It’s the people that carry it. Every now and again they pass the icon to another so that as many as possible people could touch it and gain healing and spiritual peace. Faith and hope make people from different religions come together – it’s not only Christians that go to the procession but also Muslims.
At about noon the icon of the Holy Virgin and the procession reaches Kluviyata where, by the Chapel of Sts. Archangels and the sacred spring (ayazmo), a mass is held and the abbot of the Monastery blesses the monks and the people. At 4 pm sharp the processions starts its way back to the Monastery where it’s met again with honours and is taken to its place till the next Easter.
The region of the Asenovgrad and the Bachkovo Monastery is famous for its ancient traditions of religious processions. During the centuries they have formed a real cultural road.