Customs and Festivals

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Koleda

This winter festival, named after Kolyada, the Slavic god of winter, is known in Britain as Christmas.
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Trifon Zarezan

Trifon Zarezan Trifon Zarezan is the patron saint of vineyards but he is an embodiment from the Thracian cult of Dionysus, the wild dark god of wine. On 14 February, there is a ceremonial pruning of the vine shoots, and…
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Baba Marta

The month of March is still personified in Bulgaria as Grandmother March, an old woman whose mood is as variable as the March weather. The first of March is a special festival day on which people wish each other “Chestita…
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Nestinarstvo fire dancing

Nestinarstvo fire dancing There are now only a few genuine Nestinari/Nestinarki (male/female fire dancers) left. They enter into a spiritual trance to dance on burning embers during the festival of St Konstantin and Elena in midsummer, in a relic of…
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Koukeri

are masked male dancers, who wear fantastic, often animal like masks (like the one pictured above), and huge bronze cowbells round their waists. They carry sticks, which symbolise the phallus, in a spring fertility rite derived from the ancient Dionysian…
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