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  • 1.  
  • 2. CORNEL - TREE
  • 3.
    • Cornel-tree is worshiped by the Bulgarians. It is a symbol of health and longevity. It is the first tree to have blossoms in spring and the last to have fruit in autumn. It proclaims the coming of spring. The cornel wood is flexible and hard and therefore it is an excellent material for the production of agricultural equipment. Cornel-tree grows in the forests and in the gardens as well.
  • 4.
    • Cornel leaves are green but in autumn they become red and shiny in the autumn sun.
  • 5.
    • The fruit of the cornel-tree are called cornel-cherries and they ripen in August – October. They are astringent but with nice flavour and very healthy.
  • 6.
    • The green twig with buds is full of the sap of life even in the harsh winter. Being strong and flexible the cornel-tree is considered to be long-lived. This is why it is an old belief that if you tap someone’s back with a cornel twig, you can transfer symbolically strength and long life to that person. The cornel twig is called sourvaknitsa. In older times the twigs were not decorated.
  • 7.  
  • 8.
    • Decorations – red wool, beans, popcorns, greenery, ring-shaped buns, dried fruit, wheat-ears, ribbons, apples, peppers, woolen tassels.
    • Later there have been new elements added to the decorations each having a message. People put coins in order to wish wealth. The strings of popcorn and other seeds mean abundance. The white and red wool and the tassels remind that health is the most important.
  • 9. The tradition of the decorating of the cornel-tree has been transferred from older to younger generations. It is an old Bulgarian tradition for boys and young men to go from house to house carrying decorated cornel twigs, singing traditional songs and blessing the families on New Year’s day.
  • 10.  
  • 11. We wish you a merry New Year With golden wheat in the field Red apples in the garden And a house full of silk. Health and happiness for many years ahead! New Year’s blessing:
  • 12. New Year’s tradition
  • 13. Sourvaknitsas - decorations
  • 14. The elements of the sourvaknitsa
  • 15. The necessary materials
  • 16. Work stages
  • 17. Procedure 1 2 3 4
  • 18. 5 6 7 8
  • 19.
    • On NewYear’s Eve a traditional cheese pastry is made. Some lucky charms tied to cornel buds are put inside. There is always a coin inside, too, promising wealth.
  • 20.