I've just noticed that I wrote this blog post and didn't publish it.......oopps!
On Saturday March 3rd I headed off to Arbanassi, which is a village about 30 minutes drive from us that is very popular with tourists and holidaying Bulgarians, I met up with 2 expat friends and we had a great afternoon.. Arbanassi is a beautiful place, very traditional looking but also full of stalls selling souvenirs. There are some lovely looking restaurants and hotels, a large castle-like place that is very over the top for my tastes and also riding stables where there are a lot of sport and competition horses kept.
Todorov Den is a celebration of the horse, loosely translated it's St. Theodore day. Horses have their manes and tails plaited and wear red & wed bands to follow the tradition of Baba Marta and then there's a parade through Arbanassi village to the centre.Where the mayor, priest and a large crowd are gathered to celebrate and watch the proceedings. There are prizes for the best turned out horses and each rider and horse are blessed by the Popa (priest).
The weather was sunny, but cold and very windy. Despite that, the horses all behaved really well and a good day was had. Some years there is shojumping back at the stables but this time the ground was too wet to be safe. Some people did get to ride the horses around the yard and the children present all got to pet Gina the Shetland pony.
So a much needed afternoon out with friends, a few laughs and beautiful horses was just what I needed. Here's a photo of the carriage horse pair.