Bulgaria officially the Republic of Bulgaria is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south and the Black Sea to the east.
Christmas Celebrations in Bulgaria :
In Bulgaria, Christmas is celebrated on 25 December and is preceded by Christmas Eve though this is somewhat unexpected because Bulgaria is an Orthodox country as the traditional Eastern Orthodox celebration of Christmas lands on January 7. Traditionally, Christmas Eve would be the climax of the Nativity Fast, and thus only an odd number of lenten dishes are presented on that evening. On that day, a Bulgarian budnik is set alight. On Christmas, however, meat dishes are already allowed and are typically served.
Among the Bulgarian Christmas traditions is koleduvane, which involves boy carolers visiting the neighboring houses starting at midnight on Christmas Eve, wishing health, wealth and happiness a. Another custom is the baking of a traditional round loaf. The pita is broken into pieces by the head of the family and a piece is given to each family member, a valuable possession, and a piece for God. A coin is hidden inside the pita and whoever gets the coin, he or she will have the luck, health and prosperity in the coming year.
As in other countries, a Christmas tree is typically set up and the entire house is decorated. The local name of Santa Claus is Dyado Koleda with Dyado Mraz being a similar Russian-imported character lacking the Christian connotations and thus popular during the Communist rule. However, it has been largely forgotten after 1989, when Dyado Koleda again returned as the more popular figure.
If you’re in Bulgaria during the winter season, you will see cities like Sofia bedecked in Christmas lights. The Sofia Christmas Market is the ideal place for travelers to go during the month of December to experience Bulgarian Christmas cheer.
Bulgaria’s Christmas Eve is celebrated with a meal consisting of an odd number of dishes which follows the forty-day Advent fast. This vegetarian meal includes grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Walnuts, in particular, are found on the Bulgarian Christmas Eve table. These nuts are cracked in order to predict success or failure for the coming year. Another special aspect of the the Bulgarian Christmas Eve meal is the round loaf of bread, into which a coin is baked.
The Christmas Eve dinner table may not be cleared until the next morning to provide sustenance for the ghosts of ancestors who may come back to visit before Christmas morning.
Apart from the capital city of Sofia, Christmas is celebrated with great enthusiam in other big cities of Bulgaria also like – Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Ruse, Stara Zagora, Pleven, etc.
Wishing all readers Merry Christmas 2019 & Happy New Year 2020 !!!