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.
Cornel leaves are green but in
autumn they become red and shiny in
the autumn sun.
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.
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.
Decorations – red wool, beans, popcorns,
greenery, ring-shaped buns, dried fruit,
wheat-ears, ribbons, apples, peppers, woolen
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
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
We wish you a merry
With golden wheat in
Red apples in the
And a house full of
Health and happiness
for many years ahead!
New Year’s blessing: