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Tsaparevo

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Tsaparevo


Tsaparevo is 167 km far from Sofia, 18.3 km far from the municipal center of Stroumyani and 31.7 km far from Sandanski. It is situated at the foot of the Maleshevska Mountain, in the historical and geographical region Karshiyaka Valley, at 700-1100 m height. Ottomans called Karshiyaka the hilly branches of Maleshevo Mountain, including: south of the river Lebnitsa, east of Struma River, north of Breznishka river and west of the ridge of Maleshevska mountain. All the villages of this area belonged to the Melnishka kaasa / district /. It is believed that the Turkish name Karshiyaka (heights) is derived from it, since the local center of Melnik is situated opposite and higher.

The area, where the land of the village of Tsaparevo is situated, was in ancient times occupied by virgin forests. It was unsettled. The population was in the lowlands. Towards the end of the 14th century, at the final conquest of Bulgarian lands by the Ottoman Turks, the Malesh Mountain was covered with virgin forests: oak, beech and pine. At the invasion of the conqueror, people who had escaped from the Turkish yatagan in the lowlands along the Struma river, sought secure shelter and hiding place in the forests of Maleshevska mountain. This is how the population in this wasteland has exacerbated. Mountain people began to cut off forests and create areas to sow the cereals needed for food. So, they were forgotten and survived more than a century. Around the beginning of the 17th century, larger settlements arose. These were Tsaparevo and Igralishte, later Goreme and Palat.

After the defeat near Vienna and the emergence of Russians from the north, Turkish expansion was stopped. They looked back and began to organize the administrative arrangements of the preserved conquered lands. The lands of the settlements at that time were declared for “Raet” lands ( people have been paying taxes and other burdens, but each man was holding the piece of land at his own expense). All other lands were declared estates and given to deserving warlords and spahies. In the XVIII century and later

Tsaparevo is middle by size village. Middle, if we take in mind that it is a mountain village. It was a municipality center in the past. Its name is old and there are four hypotheses about it.

The first one says that Tsaparevo comes from the Greek word "Cepper", which translated into Bulgarian means "ram". Ever since, in ancient times, extensive forests have been spread, dense, broad-leaved forests and dozens of sheep and goat flocks have been crawled in the meadows. These flocks may have been the reason why the ancient people named the village of Tsaparevo using the Greek word "Tsaper" as the basis.

The second hypothesis says that the name comes from the Roman “Sapar”, which means mountain village.

Another legend says that the name derives from the word “Tsapim”, i.e. from the verb “tsepya” (chop) and therefore it became Tsaparevo.

The fourth hypothesis follows an old legend – the village was situated on a meadow, surrounded by dense forest from all sides that reflected echoes, which in local dialect are called “rev” (cry). So, it became “tsapi-revo” or Tsaparevo.

In the past, the main occupation of the population was agriculture and stock-breeding. People worked for their food hard and suffered great deprivation. The land was cultivated with wooden plows, diggers, mattocks and other elementary agricultural tools.

Women carried long “koshfli” and over them “sap” made of woolen cloth, colorful woolen knee-length socks with sandals. Their heads were covered with black embroidered towels. Men's clothing was made of rough, homemade shawl in plain brown and consisted of pants, called “poturi”, vest and dolma (outer top garment). By nationality, in the past and now, population is purely Bulgarian.

Even in pain and sorrow, songs always accompanied each activity of villagers. They sung on the field, when they harvested, on gatherings and even when they danced “horo”. People put their grief in the song. One of the most famous songs is:

Shekir bego kula gradi,
Nikolinoi mori,
sred seloto Tsaparevo.
Kolko dalga i shiroka,
oshte da e po-visoka,
po-visoka, prozorita.
Nikolina divan stoi,
divan stoi, kafe vari,
kafe vari-shekerlia,
da cherpva Shekir begu…

Shekir bego is building tower,
Ah, Nikolinoi,
in the middle of Tsaparevo.
As long and wide,
so high, even more,
even more, with windows.
Nikolina is sitting on the coach,
sitting and making coffee,
coffee with sugar,
to treat Shekir begu…)

It is a song in which free and family-loving villagers from Tsaparevo ridicule their co-villager Nikolina, because she forgot her religion and honor and felt in love with a Muslim man. This song and many other are sung and recall the past, hidden far in history.

Singing in groups is typical for Tsaparevo folklore songs. Usually, two or three women sing, while another one is leading the song.

There are many songs dedicated to work and describing the hard-working people. There are wedding songs, songs for making wreaths, when harvesting, songs, when making “feruglitsa” (a special flag for wedding).

There are special amount of songs, sung on Easter holidays. This holiday’s duration was three days and there were songs for each of the days. Even today this holiday is still celebrated.

People sing about heroes, hajduks, comites. They reveal their heroism and moral beauty.

The village’s fair is dedicated to Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising. There is a sacrificial rite for health on St. Iliya’s Day.