News / 02/14/2020 / 153
The Day of St. Valentine is celebrated in numerous countries on 14th February. However, on this particular day, Serbia celebrates a holiday dedicated to wine and vine, equally celebrated by vinegrowers, wine-makers and restaurant & cafe owners across Serbia, as well as numerous winelovers. The celebration of Saint Tryphon’s Day has grown into a form of genuine wine feast.
Saint Tryphon was born in the village of Kampsade in Phrygia (present day Turkey) in 3rd century AD. Already as a child, he started sustaining his family by taking care of geese owned by wealthy villagers. He also possessed healing powers, thus being able to cure people and cattle and exorcize evil spirits. Saint Tryphon is widely venerated as protector of wine and vineyards. For that reason, he is commonly depicted in Orthodox Christian icons with a vine and scythe in his hands. Written records from 16th century mention St Tryphon as protector of vineyards and fields, which bears witness to deeply rooted veneration of cult related to this Saint among Serbian people.
St Tryphon’s Day is celebrated in Serbia similar to all other Feasts of the Patron Saint (i.e. Slava). Festive bread, boiled wheat and wine are prepared for the feast. Our vinegrowers visit their vineyards on this particular day, prune a few vines and sprinkle them with wine, as it will restore power of the vineyard and awaken life’s juices in the plants after a long period of hibernation, according to popular belief. Vineyards are to be visited at the crack of dawn. In some regions of Serbia, festive meal is prepared in the vineyard, so even casual passers-by are invited to join and raise a toast for the bountiful year.
There are numerous popular customs and beliefs related to this day, many of them rooted in pagan times. It is believed that on 14th February St. Tryphon drives a burnt stick into the ground, causing the snow to melt and symbolizing the end of long winter. If St Tryphon’s Day happens to be snowy or rainy, then the year will be bountiful. On the other hand, if the weather is clear, the year will bring draughts and poor harvest. In Timok region (east Serbia), a pregnant woman is invited to enter the vineyard and prune one vine, as it will symbolically contribute to good harvest and high-quality wine.
Nowadays, this holiday is celebrated by numerous Associations of vinegrowers and wine-makers. Therefore, the villages of Iđoš, Neštin, Aradac, Mol, Dolovo, Topola, Negotin, Župa, Fruška Gora and many other vinegrowing villages in Serbia will celebrate St Tryphon’s Day with local feasts and wine festivals.
Photos will show you how Serbian winemakers have celebrated Saint Tryphon’s Day this year.
Saint Tryphon's Day in Sremski Karlovci (Photo: Đ. Simović)
St Tryphon's Day in Milutovac village (Three Moravas) (Photo: PG Vasiljević)
St Tryphon's Day in Ljig (Photo: Lukić Cellar)
St Tryphon's day in Niš (Photo: Izba Jovanović)
St Tryphon's Day in Smederevska Palanka (Photo: Despotika Winery)
St Tryphon's Day in Smederevo (Photo: Janko Cellar)
St Tryphon's Day in Jagodina (Photo: Vinis Winery)
St Tryphon's Day in Kragujevac (Photo: Art Wine Winery)
St Tryphon's Day in Oplenac (Photo: Royal Winery)
St Tryphon's Day in Fruška Gora (Photo: Kovačević Winery)
St Tryphon's Day in Orašac (Photo: Matijašević Winery)
St Tryphon's Day in Vrnjačka banja (Photo: Grabak Winery)
St Tryphon's Day in Vranje (Photo: Aleksić Winery)
St Tryphon's Day in Vinča (Photo: Aleksandrović Winery)
Awarded wine writer, wine critic and contributor to selected wine magazines. WSET3-certified author and editor-in-chief of www.vinopedia.rs. Member of Vojvodina Sommelier Association. Juror in national and international wine competitions. Lecturing about wines of Serbia and the Balkans. Local partner of Wine Mosaic organization. Co-founder of International Prokupac Day.
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