September 17, 2019

Bulgarian superstitions and curious traditions

A black cat crossing your path or walking under a ladder. Knocking on wood. Friday the 13th. These are all among the „classics“ of superstition all over the world. But did you know that Bulgarians have a number of superstitions, which aren’t that common in other countries? Some of them have roots in pre-Christian rituals. Others are so old that no one knows how they came to be anymore. But all of them are quite bizarre. Here you can take a deeper look into four of the most interesting and curious ones! The charm of the chimney sweep Cleaning chimneys usually involves getting one’s clothes all black and dirty. Therefore, it is understandable why most people wouldn’t want to shake hands with a chimney sweep after a hard day’s work. This isn’t the case in Bulgaria. Because according to one of the country’s most popular superstitions touching a chimney sweep and getting soot on your hands will bring a person good fortune for the rest of the day. Of course, […]
May 12, 2019

Bulgarian Traditional Crafts coming back to life – Knitting

The Traditional Craft Knitting and the overall processing of wool from the animal to the end product have always been a big traditional craft for Bulgarian people. It is a very special reflection on rural life in the country. Every household has the typical tools for knitting. Back in the days, girls learned how to do it ever since they were small. Because the better they knit, the bigger the chance to find a husband. Knitting was and still is also a good reason for elderly women to socialize. Whenever they gather to talk and gossip they’d simultaneously prepare socks for their grandchildren.  Knitting in Plovdiv nowadays There is a brand-new place in the heart of Plovdiv (Kapana neighborhood), which brings us closer to that traditional craft. It opened around Christmas 2018. The highlights inside are the handmade rugs, souvenirs, and mainly socks. They feature motives typical for each different mountain regions of Bulgaria. You can especially see that in the colors. Predominant red and blue color are typical for […]
May 1, 2016

“Hristos Voskrese” or Happy Easter from Bulgaria

Easter is one of the most important Christian holidays. Easter is the day when Jesus Christ has risen from the dead three days after his crucifixion on Good Friday. The date of the holidays changes every year as it is connected to the first full moon after the coming of the spring. But it’s always on Sunday. Easter is the time of springtime festivals, a time to welcome back the tulips, the crocuses and the daffodils. It is also the holiest day in the Christian calendar (followed by Christmas). Easter is recognized as a legal holiday in most countries with a significant Christian tradition. The preparation for Easter starts the week before – Holy Week. On Great Thursday all the families paint eggs in different colors, predominantly in red (as a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ). That can be done on Saturday before sunrise too. The first egg is always painted red to symbolize the blood of Christ and should be put aside – either to be buried […]
April 24, 2016
Palm Sunday In Bulgaria - St. Lazar's Day - Free Plovdiv Tour

Palm Sunday In Bulgaria

Palm Sunday is a moveable feast celebrated a week before Easter by all Christians. Palm Sunday marks Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. On the previous day – Saturday – Jesus Christ raised Lazar from the dead. The holiday is named after the resurrected Lazar (St. Lazar’s Day). Traditionally, on St. Lazar’s Day from 6 to 7 lassies walk around the town/village. They perform a variety of customs connected to the holiday. Most often they sing praises to all the family members. It is believed that a house visited by the young ladies (also known in Bulgaria as ‘lazarki’) will have good luck throughout the whole year. On Palm Sunday willow twigs are sanctified and given away. Everyone takes one and brings it home as it is a widely spread belief that these twigs not only bring health and happiness, but can also heal a diseased person. The willow twigs symbolize the palm trees placed on the ground by the people as Jesus entered Jerusalem. He came into the town on a […]