Honey pot cross set ablaze in Bulgarian ceremony

Saint Haralampi is associated with healing and was adopted as the patron saint of beekeepers, given honey's use in medicine since ancient times and its mild antiseptic qualities.

Father Cyril, a priest overseeing the ceremony at the town's Church of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, said worshippers brought a jar of honey to be blessed and which would be used to treat the sick throughout the year.

(SOUNDBITE) (Bulgarian) ORTHODOX PRIEST, FATHER CYRIL, SAYING:

"Saint Haralampi is a patron saint of beekeepers. On this day the Orthodox Christians bring a jar with honey to the church, so it can be blessed. After that the honey can be used throughout the year to cure the ones who are ill and need it; and also as a blessing."

Worshipper Makedonka Yaketova remarked on the importance of the ceremony.

(SOUNDBITE) (Bulgarian) WORSHIPPER, MAKEDONKA YAKETOVA, SAYING:

"We are praying for health, since everybody needs that. Health is the most important thing for every human being, so they can move forward."