Holidays and Festivals
One of the most popular festivals in our country is the festival of Kukeri. It is a traditional Bulgarian ritual to scare away evil spirits with costumed men performing the ritual. The costumes cover most of the body and include decorated wooden masks of animals and large bells attached to the belt. Around New Year and before Lent, the kukeri walk and dance through the villages and towns to scare evil spirits away with the costumes and the sound of the bells, as well as to provide a good harvest, health, and happiness to the village during the year. This festival is usually held in the town of Pernik which is 12 km from our town. This year it was held on 29 January and attracted thousands of people from our country and abroad. A special bazaar called Survakari Village was opened. The Bulgarian and foreign tourists could buy traditional masks, costumes, charms, bells and household items. Survakari wine was sold as well. Many of our schoolmates take part in this festival every year.
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The other importants holiday in Bulgaria is Easter, In our country it is known as Velikden which means ( the faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ). At midnight on Saturday before Easter Sunday, people in our town gather at St Dimitar’s Church and carry red-painted eggs and bread. When the priest proclaims “Christos Voskrese” (Christ has risen) people reply “Voistina Voskrese”( Indeed He has risen). On Easter we have a unique tradition”good luck crack”. People take turns in tapping their eggs against the eggs of others. The person who ends up with the last unbroken egg is believed to have a year of good luck.
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Another important holiday for the Bulgarian people is Christmas Eve which is celebrated on 24 December. Traditionally this day is spent only with the family. As this is the last day of Christmas fast the meal is without animal product. It is an old Bulgarian custom for an odd number of dishes on the table, and once everyone is seated no one should get up from the table before dinner is complete. Holiday dishes include beans, potatoes, pumpkin, roasted red peppers, popcorn, wheat or corn, fruits, sauerkraut, and sarmi. Sarmi are made of grape or cabbage leaves, rice, and spices. The most special thing on the table that day is the Christmas bread in which a small coin is placed before it is baked. The father or the oldest member of the family divides the special bread amongst the family members. The person who finds the coin in their loaf will be lucky and happy all year round
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What official holidays we celebrate in Bulgaria.