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.

The Bulgarian mountaineer Mr.Nikolay Petkov
The narrow edge between the reasonable and unreasonable risk must not be crossed over. We have to be wise and brave towards Mount Everest, says Nikolay Petkov\r\nNikolay Petkov was born in 1...
International painting plain-air in Plovdiv (6 - 10 July'03)
The followin  acftititie was carried out in Plovdiv this week - International painting plain-air.It are organasing annually in Old Town by Municipality Plovdiv-Department "Culture&quo...
STARINNA GALLERY, OLD TOWN-PLOVDIV, BULGARIA
"STARINNA" GALLERY2, January Str.Old Town - PlovdivBULGARIAThe Trust of Arts & Crafts Masters.Starinna galery offers products rom the masters of arts and crafts. Here you wi...
Foreign Tourists Spent US$ 224 M in Bulgaria
In the first four months of 2003 the revenues from international tourism in Bulgaria amount to US$ 224 m...
PYGMALION PRESS, Plovdiv
PYGMALION PRESS, Plovdiv
7/7/2003 12:00:00 AM
We would like to present you PYGMALION press, Plovdiv and its second revised edition ?Plovdiv into The New Millennium? .Pygmalion Press was established in October 1992 in Plovdiv.One of&nbs...
A bikers' gathering in Plovdiv
A bikers' gathering in Plovdiv
7/6/2003 12:00:00 AM
Bikers Drained 7,000 Bottles of BeerMotors roaring, hard rock, beer and grill galore, responsive girls, this is what a bikers' gathering is. The biggest is in Plovdiv. The Wind's Sons...
Just an attempt to save the real beauty of Plovdiv
Plovdiv ? the city that has managed to preserve the very dawn of the human civilization. You could sense that any time when you touch the stones used to built the glorious ancient theatre of Philip...
Foreigners Went Crazy about Safari in Strandja
The four-crown Magnoliite Hotel in Primorsko, owned by Albena AD offers jeep-safari. The track is 25 km long running through steep mountain hills and brooks. The group consists of 30 tourists. The ...
2 Important News for Foreign Tourists...
1. Regular flights from Sofia to Bourgas 3 times per WeekFrom July 4 on, Hemus Air airlines will carry out regular flights from Sofia to Bourgas, said Dimitar Pavlov, CEO of the airlines. On Mo...
The news in the end of June'2003
6/30/2003 12:00:00 AM
1. 2-Km-Long Chain Dance Woundon the Bulgaria square in Smolyan, Bulgarian National Television released. The town in the Rhodope Mountains hosted the 13th edition of the Orpheus Celebrations th...