Fire Wolking


Nestinarstvoto – play on the fire (fire dance) – the fire dancing call also “nastinarstvo” is an old Bulgarian tradition that is practiced in several villages in Strandzha Mountain. In the early 20th century the ritual spread to some northern Greek province because of people which leaved the Strandzha region. This dance is a bridge between past and future. It is part of the rich intangible heritage of Bulgaria. This tradition is unique and almost unknown, although it is existing for centuries. It is still a mystery how the dancers dance barefoot on hot coals without being burned.  

Nastinarstvoto is a unique phenomenon in the Bulgarian rituals and psychology, which it is in mystery even today. It is a pagan tradition in Christian basis. The nastinarstvo is very different from other Bulgarian customs. This is confirmed by the fact that dancers are only from certain families within community. They believe that they receive from their ancestors, secret heritage of righteousness.
Nastinarstvoto is certainly unique complex ritual combine in festive and sacred culture in the Strandzha Mountains close to the Black Sea coast in the very southeast of Bulgaria. Moreover, it is not in the cultural competence of the entire population in this ethnic zone and it can not be called a regional phenomenon. Natinarstvo is very unique and spectacular dancing attracted many researchers for more than a century. Petko Rachov Slaveykov   was the first person in the Bulgarian folklore that stopped his attention on it. He had three publications about nastinasrtvoto: the newspaper “Gayda ” in 1866, ‘Makedonia’ in 1870 and magazine ‘Den ’ in 1875.
This phenomenon is not only a spectacle but it is an ancient priestly custom. Natinarstvoto is complex perennial practices, exercised by specific communities with sacral functions. The nastinari   are considered under Saints Constantine and Helen patronized. This ritual is in two days: June 3rd and 4th, when is celebrated ST....