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This small village (population 318) 17 km inland from Tzarevo is the only one given the status of "folklore reserve" in the Strandja mountain. It is renowned for the ancient custom of nestinarstvo ( fire-dancing), associated with the feast day of the saints Konstantin and Elena on May 21. The nestinari (fire-dancers) performing the ritual fall into a trance and dance on hot embers to furious bag-pipe and drum accompaniment. Single male dancers carry the icons of the saints. Legends have it that the ritual started when once God decided to test the faith of the mortals. God had a big fire set and told the people to step into the fire. The only one who dared do that was young Konstantin. For his faith and fearlessness the lad was honored later in heaven with a place by God's side. God repeated the test so as to choose a bride for Konstantin. The brave maid who entered the fire was Elena (Helen). Some ethnologists think that fire-dancing is directly descended from the Dionysian rites of the ancients and thus constitutes a direct link with the ecstatic religion of the Thracians. The ritual can be observed on the Day of St. Constantine and Helen also in the villages of Brodilovo and Kosti. Traces of the ancient past of the village are preserved to the north : fragments of an ancient road made from huge rusticated stones, ruins from a Thracian fortress. The Church St. Constantine and Helen was built up after the Preobrazhenie Rising and is given nowadays the status of a monument of culture in relation to the nestinari custom.
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