One of the places in Bulgaria, which are sacred to both Christians and Muslims is the tomb of the Alian Saint Demir Baba. The “Tekke” and the “türbe” in Sboryanovo village, are visited throughout the year by believers who seek healing of sore, implementation of cherished dreams or want to have a child. The grave of the saint is always laden with gifts, and the road to the tomb, surrounding trees and rocks – with colorful rags.
According to the legend, if you tie a garment from your dress where the sick part of your body is you will miraculously will recover. And if you are healthy you can ask for a secret wish and it will come true. This is just one of the many rituals that are practiced on the holy place. On a high rock close to the Tekke the visitors lie upside down, gather strength and then have to face without using their hands in order to be healthy or healed.
Then the ritual continues with eyewash and drink from the holy spring in the courtyard of the tomb. According to the legend Demir Baba or Iron father punched him with his fingers in a year of drought. Since then the water flows and cures, and the spring is called “The five fingers”. Then from time immemorial you is put a coin to buy health.
By another ritual every lady can check if she will have a child. She just have to throw a stone among a narrow slit and if it wents inside she would have a child. Another ritual does show if you will have luck in life. You should try to hit with your eyes closed two holes in the wall, known as the eyes of the witch. If you do succeed you will have welfare. Only the righteous, however, will fail. They are also the ones that will pass through the the narrow opening called “the hole of lie”, which is located nearby.
In fact Demir Baba lived near Sboryanovo in the 16th century, but the tomb was built on a site of a much more ancient Thracian sanctuary. They say the place is revered by nearly 3,000 years.
Demir Baba is Alevi saint, sage and healer. A Alevi, also known as kazalbashi are religious movement in Islam. His followers are against the veiling of women and the wearing of baggy pants. They believe that women are equal to men and venerate the tombs of saints, stones and fire. Their teaching is mysterious and until today its secrets and rituals are revealed only to initiates.
It is known that the mystics believe in personal communion with God, achieved during a trance. The Alevi do not attend mosques.
The most revered Tekke on theBalkans of them is precisely the tomb of Demir Baba. You can learn facts from the life of the saint in the house-museum, which is build just next to the Tekke. They say that the best friend of the saint was a Bulgarian and he preached Christians and Muslims to live together in harmony.