January 6, 2020

St. Jordan’s Day or Epiphany

Whether you have heard about St. Jordan’s Day or its ecclesiastical name Epiphan, it means one and the same day and holiday. There is evidence proving that the holiday was celebrated even as early as the 2nd century AD. Actually, until the 4th century AD St. Jordan’s Day coincided with Christmas so Epiphany appeared to be the collective name of the two feasts. According to the Orthodox church According to the Orthodox calendar, St. Jordan’s Day commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ from St. John the Baptist. Later, the Church decided to separate the holidays and since then the 25th December is known as Christmas and Epiphany is celebrated on the 6th of January. Traditions in Bulgaria In Bulgaria, there is a long-lived tradition related to the date of the 6th of January. Usually, on St. Jordan’s Day, a ceremonial throw of a cross from the local church takes place. The ritual is put into practice wherever a water basin is available. Once the cross is thrown, men jump into the water […]
December 24, 2019

Christmas and New Year’s Eve traditions in Bulgaria

Family dinners, gifts and lots of snow. This is what Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations are usually associated with. But just like every other nation, we, Bulgarians, have some specific Christmas and New Year’s Eve traditions. Here’s a deeper look into a few of the most popular ones! Christmas Bread and New Year’s Eve banitsa Christmas bread As you will see in one of the next paragraphs, Bulgarians have many traditional holiday meals. However, two of them are much than just food on the table – the Christmas bread and the banitsa on New Year’s Eve. Both of them are connected to entire rituals, which determine the fortune of everyone around the table. Perhaps the most awaited moment during Christmas Eve dinner is the breaking of the specially decorated Christmas bread. Not only because it’s super tasty – but there is also a treasure, hidden within. Every year the matriarch of the family puts a coin, wrapped in tinfoil within the dough. It is believed that whoever finds the […]