Current News

Current News

Today is VASSILYOVDEN (aka. St. Vasilij or St. Basil, the Great)

Today is VASSILYOVDEN (aka. St. Vasilij or St. Basil, the Great)

1/1/2019 9:30:00 AM

Name day of everyone named Vassil, Vassilka, Vassilena, Vesselina, Vesselin, Vessela, Vessie, Veska, Vulko (the name"Vassiliy" in Greek has the meaning of "regal").

On January 1st, the Eastern Orthodox Church commemorates St. Vassilij the Great (or as in the Greek calendar, St.Basil), who lived around 330-379. Being a bishop in the Caesar?s territory of Capadocia (todays Asia Minor), he fought against  the movements denying Jesus Christs divine origin, and he succeeded in imposing the principles of the Orthodox Christianity to a large part of the Roman Empire territories. It was him who popularized the ideas of active forgiveness and doing good deeds as an implementation of Christs concept of love and forgiveness. He used to be called the Great long before his death. He was canonized as a saint, and the day of his death (January 1st) has been celebrated each year ever since.

Bulgarians celebrate the first day of the New Year by a large number of traditional rituals. The most popular among them is the sourvakane - tapping the back of each member of the family by means of a specially decorated cornel-tree twig called "sourvaknitza" - for health and good luck. In mythology the cornel-tree stands for the live power of the good forces. On this day, people in masks, called "sourvakari" (also "camilari", "babougeri", "startzi" and "djamali") visit peoples' homes and give blessings for health and fertility.

   The Sourvakane ritual:

Bulgarians call the New Year?s Day by all kinds of names - Sourvaki,  Souroka, Vassilitza or Sourozdru. On the eve of the feast the family gathers round the table, piled with all kinds of dishes - everything that the family had wished to have throughout the year. The mistress of the house should smoke four grains of incense over the ploughshare and by circular motions from left to right she smokes over the whole table, so that evil spirits should fly away. Then she turns three times the pan with the large pastry (the so-called banitsa) in which she had put  the silver coin and the luck-wishing pieces (called "kusmets"), made of small pieces of paper woven around cornel-tree buds. Each member of the family is quick to take their piece in order to see the respective prediction for luck for the year to come. Next morning, very early, the children go around from house to house and tap everybody on the back with beautifully decorated cornel twigs called sourvachka, pronouncing the blessing:

Sourva, sourva, the year, merry and prosperous year!















Lots of wheat in the field, red apples in the orchard,















Gold coin in the cupboard, large grapes on the vine,















Hives full of honey, young chickens all around!















May you be alive and healthy this year and forever!"

The traditional concept and the ritual function of the New Year sourvachka cornel twigs has always been connected to mythological culture - the myth presents the sourva-twig as a form of the Tree of the World, and the sourvakari boys as the mediators between the different worlds that predetermine future prosperity.

After the sourva ritual, toward evening, the houses are visited by young men, disguised in a camel or djamalo -  their function is to wish health and fertility to the hosts during the coming year. The man who defines the directions the djamalo takes pronounces the following blessing:

May there be joy and prosperity where the djamalo sets its foot!















May people be as strong as my mace!















May children be as many as the bees in the hive!















Then the djamalo dies symbolically, so that evil in the house also dies, and comes to life again, symbolising nature waking up again to give more prosperity to people. In return for their vivid performance ? a true verbal and imitative magic, the young men receive food, money and a good treat.

VIDOVDEN (Vido’s day) - June 15
VIDOVDEN (Vido’s day) - June 15
6/15/2019 9:00:00 AM
That day is the feast of the last one of the hail-men family - sometimes interpreted as a brother, Vido, sometimes as a syster - Vida.
ELISSEY feastday (Liseh’s Day; St.Eliseus) - June 14
The traditional feast of Eliseus (also called Ellisey, Lisseh, Lisso or Lissey) is one of the thunder-maker feasts, alongside with German and Bartholomew.
VARTOLOMEY (St Bartholomew’s Day) - June 11
The feast is called Vartolomey or also Varti-Lomi (in association of storm and hail).
Today is SPASSOVDEN
Today is SPASSOVDEN
6/6/2019 10:00:00 AM
SPASSOVDEN (always on Thursday, 40 Days after Easter - “Ascension Day” or “Ascension of the Lord”): The great feast called the Spassovden or Ascension Day is connected to the eternal human wish for health and joy. The feast is a non-fixed one, and it is celebrated 40 days after Easter, always on Thursday.
Today we celebrate "The Day of Botev and All Freedom Fighters Who Lost Their Lives for the Independence of Bulgaria"
That day has been appointed by a decree of the Ministerial Council dated May 31st 1993. It was first celebrated back in 1884 in Vratsa and Plovdiv.
Bulgaria marks the International children’s day
Bulgaria marks the International children's day: June 1st. Festive celebrations, theatrical performances and concerts for the young ones are organized throughout the country.
Bulgarian Literacy and Culture Celebration Day - May 24th
Ever since the earliest Bulgarian manuscript books (preserved until today), we can trace the tradition to honor the two saint brothers - St Cyril (on February 14th) and St Methodius (on April 6th) ...
St.St.Constantine and Helena Feast
St.St.Constantine and Helena Feast
5/21/2019 8:00:00 AM
May 21st is celebrated in Bulgaria as the church feast of St. St.Constatine and Helena.
NIGHT OF MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
NIGHT OF MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
5/18/2019 9:00:00 AM
Tonight Plovdiv will have no sleep - all private, municipal and state museums and art galleries in Plovdiv will stay open throughout the night for visitors.
The St. St. Cyril and Methodius Day
The St. St. Cyril and Methodius Day
5/11/2019 10:00:00 AM
The first celebration of the Day of the Holy Brothers, St.Cyril and St.Methodius, was organized by the eminent Plovdiv figure Nayden Gerov in 1851, in the city of Pl...