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WINTER TRADITIONS: DECEMBER: ST. VARVARA'S DAY (VARVARI'S DAY, VARVARDAN) - DECEMBER 4 In folk beliefs Varvara and her sister Sava (celebrated on the.

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Presentation on theme: "WINTER TRADITIONS: DECEMBER: ST. VARVARA'S DAY (VARVARI'S DAY, VARVARDAN) - DECEMBER 4 In folk beliefs Varvara and her sister Sava (celebrated on the."— Presentation transcript:



3 WINTER TRADITIONS: DECEMBER: ST. VARVARA'S DAY (VARVARI'S DAY, VARVARDAN) - DECEMBER 4 In folk beliefs Varvara and her sister Sava (celebrated on the following day), the two St. Nicholas' sisters, organize his holiday and therefore it is called: "Varvara boils, Sava kneads and Nicholas treats." St. Varvara is respected for being a protector against the smallpox and other diseases. Women prepare ritual pulse as they do on Andreevden. In order to propitiate the smallpox the night before the holiday they set the table or they leave a honey loaf on the table for Baba Sharka to have a bite and to leave children on their own. Having the same aim in West Bulgaria an odd number of children lights a fire at crossroads and jump over it three times. A firebrand is saved as a remedy against measles. For the holiday loafs are kneaded, spread with honey and are handed out to children and neighbours. In the region of Kyustendil lasses, called "varvarki" go round the houses and greet their musters. In some regions of the country, the holiday is connected with the custom "polazvane" (Ignajden). Church Holiday: St. Varvara, sabred after cruel sufferings for the sake of her determination not to reject her Christian faith. Ritual Table: Honey loaf, a bowl containing honey, salt, pepper and a bottle containing water are put by the fireside.

4 Sava - December 5 This holiday is connected with St. Varvara's Day and St. Nicholas' Day. On this day rituals are not performed. The day passes mainly in preparing for the table for St. Nicholas' Day. In some places cutting and sawing are avoided. Women do not touch sharp objects.St. Varvara's Day St. Nicholas' Day

5 St. Nicolas'day (Nikulden) - December 6 That is one of the biggest family holidays celebrated in the winter. The holiday honors St. Nicola - patron of the seas, sailors and fishermen. Bankers and salesmen also honor him as their protector. Fish meals are necessarily prepared for the celebration of this day. While scaling the fish women should be careful not to let its scales fall on the floor because it is believed that if someone steps on them this someone may get ill or die. The bones should be burnt, buried in the ground or thrown in the river. They sew the parietal bone in the hats of the children to protect them from sickness and the evil eye. The prepared meals are usually from carp fish, because it is believed that it is "the servant of St. Nicola". According to the legend once when St. Nicola went out in the sea with his boat a storm came up and punctured his boat. St. Nicola caught a carp fish and plugged up the crack. Тhat is how he and his companions were saved. There are different kinds of bread prepared in honor of the saints: bogovitsa, svetets (saint), kravaj (ring-shaped bun), paraklis (chapel) and nikul bread. Roasted carp fish and ribnik (fish meal) are served as an offering (kurban). The whole carp fish stuffed with rise and grits, with walnuts and raisins is roasted and after censing it is broken up and served. The ribnik is also made of carp fish which is folded into dough and then baked after it is flatten down and oiled. Different patterns can be made on top of it, dough balls and sticks representing the spine, the tail and the eyes of the carp fish can also be stuck on it. They leave the table with all the dishes on it all day long. It is available for the guests at any time. Except for the fish and the bread there is also beans stew, stuffed cabbage or vine leaves and other meatless meals, soaked in olive oil or walnuts or sesame oil. Church Holiday: the memory of St. Nicola Mirlikliiski Chudotvirets, also called Nicolaj Ugodnik. He was proclaimed the bishop of town Mir during the time of Emperor Constantine the Great. He dies in 342. As a spiritual father of Mir he bestowed strength and life to the ill and low-spirited. He is renowned for his miracles in saving the sailors and the ships from the sea storm. That is the reason why this day is considered the end of the autumn and winter


7 Christmas Eve - 24th December The Christmas celebrations start on 24th December and continue until Stefanovden. For most people the Small Christmas is a bigger holiday than the following ones because that is the evening of Christ's birth. Children are the ones that enjoy it the most. Christmas Eve is the first censed evening. The most important traditions are the budnik, the table with ritual breads, the Christmas meals and the ritual singing of Christmas carols- koleduvane. The budnik is an oak or a pear tree cut and brought home by a young man to keep the fire up throughout the night. Bringing it in the man asks: "Do you praise the young God?" The women answer: "We praise him, we praise him! Welcome!" The man adds: "I am home and God is with me!" At one of the ends of the tree there is a hole, which is full of olive oil, wax and incense. That end is wrapped in a linen or cotton sheet and the budnik is put up by the fireplace.Stefanovden Budnik From the tree that has been cut for the budnik people make stakes for fencing the fields, to protect them from being robbed by tramps and magicians. There are three kinds of ritual breads: real Christmas breads (bogovitsa, kolak, svetets (saint), krustash, pogacha), breads made by hosts (gumno, kolak, kashara, cherkovnik, bachva, bojichnik, ralo) and Christmas breads (kravaj - writhed Tradicii This is the first day of Christnas and the last of the year for which people say that encloses the circle. Families gahter on the table with meat meals on it, sing songs and have fun. In some parts of Bulgaria the young families visit their first witnesses, godfathers and parents. In other places the holidays of the mice start at that day and continue until Krustovden. The restrictions that are specific for the holiday Mrasnite dni (the Dirty days) are strongly observed. You can find more pictures from Christmas celebrations in picture galleryKrustovdenMrasnite dni (the Dirty days)picture gallery Church Holiday: According to the Gospel, on this day Jesus Christ was born in a cave in Bethlehem. Ritual Table: 7,9 or 11 meatless dishes are served.


9 Christmas - december 25 Bulgarians celebrate Christmas for three days. In the past, on the first day, after going to church, in the village square goes a bidding for the buns baked by the girls. It was a matter of honor for a young man, who was in love with a girl, to buy off her bun from the staninik, no matter how much he had to pay. Folk legends say that if you borrow salt on Christmas and don’t return it, you will have trouble with your eyes. If your ear aches on Christmas this is an indication that an angel has passed by you. And you have to make the sign of the cross three times and whatever you think of will come true. Children must not play with fire on Christmas for they will wet their bed the whole year. You must not count the stars on that night or your hands will be covered with warts. After the long Christmas fasting people eat some of the Christmas offering – the pig. This is the name day of all whose name begins with "R" – Radka, Radko, Radostin, Radost, Russi, Rumen, Rumyana. The second day is the day of those who have the names of Hristo, Hristina, Yosif. The third day of Christmas is Stefan’s Day. Nameday of Stefan, Stefanka, Stoil, Stoyan, Stoyanka, Stanimir. The ones who have a nameday are given gifts and bathed, people sing songs and play the horo dance.Stefan’s Day

10 Koleduvane


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