Christmas Eve <ul><li>The Christmas Eve is celebrated on the 24 th of December, one day before Christmas. It’s the time when the whole family gathers and the children receive presents from Santa . </li></ul>
<ul><li>The Christmas Eve feast should be plentiful and the dishes must be vegetable and odd in number, usually 7 or 9. There is boiled bean, leaves stuffed with rice, stewed fruit and many others. Also, on the table there should be everything that has been produced during the past year like walnuts, garlic, honey, onion etc. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The table should not be cleared by the next day. It’s believed that Mary, the mother of Jesus, will come to eat. </li></ul><ul><li>In the fireplace, the hosts of the house put a special wood to burn, called “Budnik”. It’s believed that the light and the warmth are symbols of the New Sun and the birth of Jesus. </li></ul>
<ul><li>At midnight on Christmas carollers start their round. They visit the houses of their relatives, neighbours and other people in the village. Carol-singers are boys aged 8 to 12. Carollers’ songs were not exactly Christmas songs, but only short tunes and refrains. It’s believed that their songs will bring health and happiness to the family. The mistress of the house had prepared cakes and when carollers came, she gives them of these cakes together with fruits, nuts and bread. </li></ul>
Christmas Day In the morning, after the Carollers had already visited all the houses, people gather and go on a divine service. After that they play typical ring dances which have ritual character and symbolize long life.
The Christmas dinner is richer than the Christmas Eve dinner because there you can find meat. The most typical kind of meat is the pork. There is also a cake with a coin. It is believed that if you have the coin in your slice the luck will be with you the whole year. With that coin the person has to go to church and buy a candle.
There is a superstition which says that at night on Christmas you can see the sky “opened” and if you wish for something at that moment there is no doubt you will have it.
New Year’s Eve <ul><li>Like any other new year festival around the world Bulgarian new year is also celebrated with great pomp and grandeur. Bulgarian people are by nature very fun loving and adventurous so during the new year festival majority of the people spent the holiday at the various resorts. People welcome the new year by bursting fire crackers and drink champagne. </li></ul>
New Year’s Day <ul><li>On new year’s day the whole family gathers around the table. Typical dishes are pork meat with sauerkraut, steaks, well-fed cock with spicy rise. Specific Bulgarian new year dish is the kapama – stewed pork, veal and chicken meat with leek. For dessert Bulgarians eat baklava. </li></ul>
<ul><li>After the main dishes the housewife puts on the table fruits: bananas, kiwis, apples, pears, orange; nuts: peanuts, chestnuts and almonds, and banitsa. The banitsa is doughy product with white cheese. In each slice there is a wish. The householder turns the banitsa and every person takes the slice that is in front of him and checks which wish is in his piece. </li></ul><ul><li>The presence of wine, rakia, juice and all kind of sweat drinks is very important. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Typical tradition for the first day of the new year is the suruvakane. Survakari are kids with survachki ( cornel-tree branches decorated with chestnuts, red yarn, pop-corn). They go to their relatives and neighbours and wish them health, luck and happiness. </li></ul>