Bulgaria is a country with centuries-old history and culture. Its geographical location - at the crossroads between two continents, determines its role as a point of contact and cultural exchanges between different nations and nationalities. Here Christianity is interwoven with pagan rituals of other tribes who lived on our land.
To know the Bulgarians and peek into their lives, you need to know their traditions and customs. To understand the organization of their society, we must understand their life calendar.
You will meet with many traditional religious holiday in Bulgaria, starting with the first major winter holiday St. Nicholas - 6 th of December - the holiday is dedicated to St. Nicholas - patron of the seas, sailors and fishermen. Bankers and traders honor this day q as St Nicolas is considered to be their patron as well. This is one of the biggest family holidays celebrated in the beginning of the winter.
On this day we honor St. Nicholas the Wonderworker , also called Nicholas The Crawler. He was proclaimed bishop of the town Mir at the time of Emperor Constantine the Great. He died in 342. As a spiritual father he gave strength and life of the sick and afflicted. He is famous for its miracles in saving sailors and ships during storms. So on this day ends the autumn - and the winter starts. . On this day all the ships at sea pause to honor the patron saint.
Ritual Table: ritual breads, fish and vegetable dishes.
Required for the celebration of this day is the preparation of fish.
The fish bones are burned, buried in the ground or thrown into the river. Parietal bone have to be sewn in children's hats to protect from disease and evil eye. Usually fish that is cooked is carp, because it is believed that this fish is "the servant of St. Nicholas." Legend says that once when St Nicholas came with a boat at sea, a storm came up and punctured the boat. St. Nicholas caught a carp and plugged up the crack. So he and his companions saved their lives.
Carp, filled with rice , walnuts and raisins, is roasted is the most popular dish.
The table is not cleared all day. It is available to all the guests.