Zornitza’s Inspiration & Creative Process

Zornitza’s dance “Lazarki”

Zornitza’s new dance “Lazarki” is inspired by the Orthodox Christian Holiday – St. Lazarus Day.
St. Lazarus Day marks the commencement of the Easter festivities. It honours the rejuvenation of nature in the spring, as the blossoming forests and fields awaken.

Zornitza’s artistic director, Snezhana Ignatova, drew inspiration from the enchanting Bulgarian tradition to craft the “Lazarki” dance, aiming to showcase this cultural custom and immerse the audience in the beauty, excitement and talent inherent in the Lazarki experience.

What are Lazarki

St. Lazarus’ Day is traditionally organized and celebrated by women, particularly those who are unmarried. They dress up in traditional folklore clothing, wearing wreaths decorated with flowers. They are called Lazarki.

On the morning of Lazarus Day, they venture to rural homes in small groups, performing festive ritual songs and dances.


Ritual Symbolism

By performing the ritual dances, it is believed that the household they visit will experience an increase in the prosperity of their fruitful livestock in the season to come – a vital element for a prosperous year ahead. In exchange, the Lazarki collect eggs which they will paint in the week leading up to Easter.

At the end of the day, the Lazarki gather by a nearby river where they release their wreaths simultaneously. Traditionally, it was believed that the wreath which took the lead down the stream belonged to the girl who would be married next.

Fun Facts


The celebration

The celebration does not have a fixed date; instead, it consistently falls on the Saturday precisely 8 days before Easter.
In 2024, Lazarus Day will be celebrated on April 27th, while in 2025 it is set to take place on April 12th.



Food prepared on Lazarus Day is vegetarian, as religious individuals have begun their meatless Easter fasting.
Common dishes prepared include nettle soup, green salads & freshly baked bread.



Individuals bearing names like Lazar, Lazarina, Lazarka, Luchezar celebrate their name day. The names are symbolic of good health and longevity.