25 of December 2008, Christmas Photo Calendar, Christmas, Natale, Коледа, Bulgaria

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Comments (11)

Minka Tsoneva (Mimip… on January 21, 2009

Many Thanks to Everybody who visited this photo before and left me very nice comments and wishes and Christmas and New 2009 Year!

This photo had more than 750 visits but for some mistake it was deleted and now I will replace it again. Unfortunately I don't have your comments to put here but I will replace the story of Christmas in Bulgaria!

Wassail (Koleduvane)

In the Bulgarian folk calendar, Christmas (Koleda) is called also Bozhik, Bozhich, Big Christmas and in Bulgarian simply Koleduvane.

In Bulgaria Nativity feasts it is a feast of Christmas Eve – it is starting from midnight to custom wassail. It involves Koledari - men - single, fiancées and a young, recently married men. Preparation starts from Ignazhden day. Then they starts studying Christmas songs, establishing Groups of Koledari. A driver of the group is the older one and married. Koledari usually are dressed with typical folklore cloths and with special Had with flowers on it, in the hands bear Striped rods. Time to wassail is strictly defined by tradition - from midnight to sunrise on Christmas. It is believed at this time it appears bogy, vampire, ghoul and others supernatural creatures. It is believed also that the songs of Koledari with their power prosecute bogy, vampire, ghoul.

Koledari are going from home to home in groups, leaving at eastward. In each house perform songs of celebration for farmers and felicitation. Owner invites young men around the table and they wine and brandy, then the young woman donate them special donut bread. Donate also them money, meat, beans, flour, wine and more.

Koledari choice King or Stanenik - a young man who knows Christmas songs and have artistic soul, generous hand and a good heart.

Ever men willing to be Koledari had to ask a special permission from the King. With Wassail (Koleduvane), survakaneto in the first day if the New Year, cleaning farms in St. Sylvester (January 2) and having a bath outside in the cold river in Yordanovden (Epiphany) young guys show that they have already grown and can get married.

Usually Groups of Koledari comprise more with old grandfather, old grandmother, “trohober”, bagpiper and other singers chetnitsi (men). Old grandfather and grandmother make people to laugh everybody, trohoberat collects gifts, bagpiper played, chetnitsite (men) sing songs. In some areas Koledari are dressed like Cats and making noise like cats. Young men are dressed with typical folklore cloths for the big cold and their special Had (Kalpatsi) with Popcorns and flowers, and Gegi (wood sticks) in their hands. Anywhere in the houses are waiting for Koledari with joy, unless a misery, death or disease are not come upon the house.

From midnight until morning Koledari round homes, singing Christmas songs with wishes for health, happiness and wealth in the family harvest and then the hosts donate them a special donut bread. First departs from the house of most private man in the village - Mayor, then Popeye, and Teacher. The woman host waits to meet Koledari with special donut bread with coin on it. The house provides a screen with wheat, Koledari are leaving the wheat al around the house with a good wish for more next year. At some places, if the house has a young maid for the wife, she is preparing special donut bread for her favourite guy. Then all the special donut bread are given to the public space to evaluate what and how much it costs to buy in bidding. Every young man redeemed the special donut bread (kravay) of his girl. If the young maid in love is more young men, they bid each other.

Koledari sing songs for each family - from the oldest (as in seniority and in respect) to the smallest. The songs are singing for health and long life for property, “bereket” (fertility and prosperity), luck, love, happiness and good match for joy, games and fun; a ploughman, pastor, priest, mayor, a tailor ... There are so many songs for Christmas but especially nice are these for the beautiful girls who shine more than the sun or order the shirt from the Virgin Mary, singing more than Nightingale, meet in the garden two white pigeons, expecting their first flame.

All families are watching around the fire from the previous Christmas Eve. At the outbreak of the Yule log flames flicker from Ignazhden. Koledari sing the songs around the waits fire and called for good luck and joy. By virtue of fire expect sentences to be fulfilled. Yule log and the fire is also magic. At some places when the fire is finishing expand out the males and leaving the young women - to bear all female animals of merchandise. Rush of Yule log is inhumation in the vineyards of fertility and good wine, or thrown into the river to health and longevity. From the Yule log is left in one brand and every night from the Christmas to the Yordanovden (St. Jordan) it is lighting and quench with wine - to protect domestic animals from diseases.

In Christmas Bulgarians are used massacring a domestic pig.

The table is not lifted all the day. Ashes are keeping all the days from Ignazhden to Yordanovden, then it is collecting and it is used to cure various diseases throughout the year. When the host is rising from the table he is walking stooping to be brought to the ground so laden with fruit and branches of trees. Often the owner or little boy is hot threaten the trees that do not provide enough fruit, then someone peace them - "No, from next year will be born, as he believed that really starting to bear.

Survakarski blessed

"Have you live,

Alive and healthy

For many years!

To fifth to sixth,

To the seventh, to eighth,

Ninth, tenth –

A hundred fiftieth! "

"Surva, surva year

Healthy, healthy back

Gold grain in the land

Sweet fruit for children

Everlasting peace on the earth! "

"Surva, surva year

Cheerful year!

Husky grain in the land,

A large cluster in vineyard,

Yellow mammoth in the forest,

Full house with silk,

Red apple in the Garden,

Live-health to the next year,

To the next year, to Amen!

In the picture here you can see Children-Survakari! In the First Day if the New Year Children-Survakari are going from house to house similar to Koledari and are singing songs wishing to all a lot of health, happiness and wealth in the family harvest! And similar like Koledari they are using the same blessings like these three up here. In the hands of these children you can see something which is called Survaknitsa! I remember in my childhood that every year I had new one and very beautiful Survaknitsa - sometimes it was made by my grandfathers or simply it was bought in the market. Very, very nice memory, we enjoyed to go from house to house and should say we were very happy at the end of this feast because we always pick up some delicious sweeties and some coins. At the end of the day Survaknitsa should be burned to protect the home from the bad spirits. It is still exists this feast in my country.

At the end thanks for your patience to read all this text here!

Get My Best Wishes for Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Best Wishes to Everybody in Everything!

Friendly, Mimi

mimipet's greeting

Minka Tsoneva (Mimip… on January 21, 2009

For this my photo Frank have my permission to use it for Christmas Calendar 2008 and to put it in the forums! Mimi

Flavio Snidero on January 22, 2009

What a pitty, Mimì. Many thanks to share again. Ciao, Flavio

silgab on January 29, 2009

Que lindo Quadro !! CONTEST DEZENBRO

Minka Tsoneva (Mimip… on January 29, 2009

Si Flavio! Sono molto dispiacuta perche sotto questa foto c'erano bellissimi messagi e auguri da parte di miei amici!

Tanti saluti,

><((((º> Mimi <º))))><

mimipet’s greeting

Victor de Lara on January 31, 2009

I come with second try of this beautiful Calendar Mimi, I wish it kept here for ever.


Minka Tsoneva (Mimip… on January 31, 2009

Many thanks Victor! You are so kind! I wished to ask you to put here the link for your video you did for your pan-friends, it will be so nice to see it again and to save it somewhere.

Thanks again my dear friend!

My Best Wishes,

><((((º> Mimi <º))))><

mimipet’s greeting

ANDRE GARDELLA on January 31, 2009

I am sorry to hear that so many comments were lost. I hope that somewhat, some day, you will recover all those writings from your friends.

I enjoyed very much reading about this old custom and all the numerous informations you took the time to write to enlighten our ignorance of Bulgarian costum and history.

I hope you will have a Survaknitsa in your hands next New year and for many more New Year to come.

Warmest greetings from the Islands of the Rising Sun.

Victor de Lara on February 1, 2009

Hi! Mimi no problem about that, here it is:♫ 1/ ♫ 2

Best wishes

Minka Tsoneva (Mimip… on March 4, 2009

Many thanks for your very kind comment ANDRE! We could not get the lost in the back but we could hope that people will save some interesting information in their memory and will come back again next year. BTW, Survaknitsa is something that in nowadays is used more from the kinds only and very few from their parents. Living in Italy you can imagine that it is something I cannot see here and it is missing me. I just hope a day for Christmas being in my native country Bulgaria and my son can see and use it.

Victor, thank you very much for your videos. I got them so they are saved now. :-)

John many thanks for your very kind comment!

My Best Wishes to All of You,

><((((º> Mimi <º))))><

mimipet’s greeting

Minka Tsoneva (Mimip… on November 19, 2009

Руси, аз съм писала за суровачката, не се притеснявай. И доста хора са прочели написаното. Само дето снимката беше по/грешка изтрита след около 800 посещения и след това се наложи да я кача отново.

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  • Uploaded on January 21, 2009
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    by Minka Tsoneva (Mimip…