This article is about the Darmanian holiday. For the actor with the same name, see Benedictus Cucumis (actor).
Benedictus Cucumis (lemlish: Cucumber Blessing) is a yearly holiday in Darmania celebrating the cucumber harvest. The holiday lasts from the 24th to the 26th of Cucumis (the last summer month according to the Darmanian calendar), with the Cucumber Blessing Festival happening on the 26th.
As Benedictus Cucumis occurs late in summer, a large number of cucumbers will already have been harvested and a variety of preserves, including pickled cucumbers, cucumber wine, cucumber curd and dried cucumber flakes will have been produced. With the exception of pickled cucumbers, which is a standard ingredient in Darmanian diet, these newly produced preserves will have been stored away and not opened or eaten from. Most people only eat preserves from the previous year if they have any left; they are often expensive in stores at this time of the year, though it depends on the size of the previous summer's harvest.
Harvest of Cucumbers
On the 24th of Cucumis, the first day of Benedictus Cucumis, a traditional Harvest of Cucumbers will be performed. Ripe cucumbers will be picked and placed in large baskets which are often decorated with feather grass and flowers, and these are carried through the village or town's main street, or in more rural areas between neighbouring houses, while the song Á gherkin, sckrecý (Oh joy, a cucumber) is sung. It is popular for those without their own plots of land, such as urban citizens, to perform the tradition along with someone who does. On large cucumber fields a hundred people from different families may join together for the Harvest.
The Cucumber Festival
The Festival is held on the 26th. The newly picked cucumbers, along with goods like cucumber curd, pickles, flakes and wine will be brought to the village or town square. Participants will dance and sing on the streets, and younger people may engage in play fights where they beat each other in the head with the cucumbers (however this is often frowned upon by elders). The highlight of the festival occurs when the cooking of cucumber lekvár (a thick jam or fruit butter) is done. People will then gather around the large kettles for the first taste. After this, everyone will return home with their goods for the Cucumber dinner, for which the new year's preserves will be opened for the first time.