Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The fair in Stomanevo

Thanks to Mr. +Boyan Dobrev we can enjoy a lovely collection of photos from the traditional fair in the village of Stomonevo, in Bulgaria's Western Rhodope mountains.

Stomanevo is located in the municipality of Devin, and each year its traditional folk fair attract thousands of visitors. The population is dominantly Turkish, with Bulgarian minority (from so called Pomak ethnographic group).

You can see the beautiful clothing of the natives. It is very interesting that the local people preserved the ancient tradition of fire-dancing - Nestinarstvo.

Preparing the fire dance. 

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Tacuinum Sanitatis: A Medieval manual for a healthy way of life

In the Middle ages among the Europeans were popular so called Tacuinum Sanitatis: medieval handbooks on health and wellbeing, containing verified recommendations about the healthy lifestyle. 

Tacuinum Sanitatis philosophy was based on the belief that health depends on six elements: 
  1. Moderate use of food and drinks, 
  2. Fresh air, 
  3. Alternations of activity and rest, 
  4. Alternations of sleep and wakefulness,
  5. Correct use of elimination and retention of humors,  
  6. Regulation of the states of mind (moderating joy, anger, fear, and distress).

Tacuinum Sanitatis insisted that these elements are essential for well-being, so illnesses result from the imbalance of these elements. 

Here I present beautiful miniatures from various Tacuinum Sanitatis, made in 14th - 15th century. They originate from Italy and France, and have many in common with the traditional Bulgarian medieval life. For instance, production of honey and the use of garlic in everyday's meals was very typical Bulgarian practice. Well, we are all south-Europeans. There are many common traditions, adopted through the influence of the Roman empire, and many common fruits and vegetables, thanks to to similar climate conditions (the weather in Southern Bulgaria is like the weather in Northern Italy).  

Picking pomegranates.

Beehives and honey. 

Merchant of sugar. 
Harvesting garlic. 
Garlic farmer. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Garlic was an important ingredient in the diet of South-Europeans, including the peoples on the Balkans.

Picking plums.  
Harvesting pumpkins. 

Obviously, a townhouse and urban clothing