Nestinarstvo The Bulgarian Fire Dance

Nestrinarstvo is an amazing fiery ritual originally performed in several villages of the Bulgarian side of the Strandzha Mountain, near the Black Sea coast. The ritual involves dance barefoot on the broken coals (Aravena, cinders) performing Nestinari (Nestinari). It is generally performed in the village square in front of the whole regiment on St. Constantine and Helena, or on the day of the patron saint of the village. The ritual itself is a unique blend of orthodox beliefs and prehistoric pagan ritual observance of Strandzha Mountain.

Traditional, the right to participate in the ritual is hereditary and “Nestinari” can inherit only his descendants after his death or the disabilities. Main Nestinari lives in a small chapel, which houses the icons of saints and holy drum whose noise is believed that he treats his drummer.

The ritual Nestinarstvo is held to ensure the well-being and fertility of the village. Thus, in the village of Bulgari, in which there are about a hundred people, the ritual begins in the morning dedicated with icons of St. Constantine and Helene through the village all the way to the source of holy water outside the village, accompanied by drums and bagpipes.

At the source of the each holy water wells there are candles for good health. The highlight of the festival is a fiery dance evening, which is the highest form of worship of saints.

Then they silently form a circle around the embers, accompanied by the sacred drum, and Nestinari, spiritual and physical leaders through which saints speak are beginning to enter the circle bare feet breaking the firebrand

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