Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve and Christmas, according to Bulgarian traditions

On Christmas Eve (Little Christmas) the whole family gathers for a modest vegetarian dinner. According to Bulgarian folk tradition of the ritual meal (which is traditionally put on straw on the ground) rank 7, 9 or 11 meatless dishes: boiled beans, peppers stuffed with rice or leaves stuffed, boiled corn, pumpkin, dried fruit, garlic, honey, walnuts , wheat, fruit, bread ritual (bogovitsa, asks the gods, gods bun blagoslovnik) pie, Zelnik.

When you break bread, the first piece is called the dead and leave the icon, the following are given as appropriate, of each family member and pets.
The custom commands do not become a meal.
All get together and then the table is not harvested, because it is believed that the dead come to dinner and to cater for the welfare of the living.
The next day - great Christmas (colada, Christmas, Bozic) is the richest in terms winter holiday ritual and one of the biggest annual holidays.

  A ritual meal is put:
brawn, roast pork, fresh bread, pastry with meat, thrush, baked liver, pastrami with sauerkraut, grilled chicken. (In "Calendar Holidays and customs of the Bulgarians," brief encyclopedia of BAS, 2000)
In the twentieth century Bulgarians added to Christmas rituals is another element contributed by Western Europe - radiant tree, which is associated with many ancient myths  and gradually became a symbol in their image.

By tradition, before ordering festive meal on Christmas Eve, the owner of the house on fire in the fireplace a special log called the Yule log. Initially stir the fire with him, calling: "The sparks, so chicks, lambs, calves, kids in this house!" Then put the thin end of the tree into the fire, where it remains to smoldering all night and kept the flame alive. Wood is a pear, oak or beech. In pre-dug hole in it pour red wine, olive oil and incense for fertility. Before you put the fire shall be sealed with beeswax. Thus prepared Christmas Yule log, called kolednik or prekladnik is considered   and bright and can now be sacrificed to the gods. This custom is an echo of the old Slavic beliefs in our country. According to them the day he was supposed to be born child, the man lit lit tree to exorcise the ghosts of the dead premature babies, dead, evil fairies and wizard. After conversion they preserved this custom, but lighting made considered  tree in honor of the birth of the Savior.

  Christ descends to earth to redeem and sanctify the people their sins. With its embodiment is marked a new era - the Savior brings a piece of the sanctity of heavenly peace - beautiful, laden with fruit Paradise tree.
So the tree is decorated with figures of angels, silver ribbons, garlands, balls, and
  candles, symbolizing Christ's nature - light, knowledge, purity, truth.
Today the Church celebrates Christmas in seven days - five pre-festival (20-24 December) and two holidays (25-26 December).
A little about Eve
Christmas Eve, or as called by the people - Dry Christmas, Krachoun, Nayadka, is celebrated on the eve of Christmas.
In the pagan holiday is traditionally associated with fertility and early growth of the day conquer the night. Why is celebrated as the table is put foods that swell when preparing.
If we go back in time many will find the day of birth to the sun. The holiday is celebrated by Egyptians and Phoenicians, and the Assyrian-Babylonians, and Persians.

This celebration had and Slavs. He was dedicated to the god of fertility Dazhdbog. The basis of his celebration was a magical ritual.
When Christianity had a religion, it could not completely reject the pagan traditions. So Christian and pagan elements are entangled together.
Christmas Eve and folk customs
Even with the coming of dawn began to prepare for dinner. The lady, the oldest woman in the family bread mix called "Yule log", "bogovitsa", "Evening".
The image of an ear of wheat, plow animals, etc. stands as a cake decoration. It is put coin, grain straw. All are symbols of fertility and wealth.
The sooner sit the official dinner, the sooner will the wheat is ripe, and as more dishes on the table, the richer will be the year, believe old.
The oldest man in the family breaks the bread and distributed to all. Waiting to midnight, the first coming of Christmas and the birth of Christ. Christmas Eve is the most important family celebration of home and hearth.