How Bulgarian celebrate Easter

Happy Easter!

The team of Inter HECS wishes you a very happy Easter! May God bless you and your family!

And while in different parts of the world people celebrate this holiday by trying to find chocolate eggs or presents in the garden or somewhere else, in Bulgaria we have customs that both adults and children look forward to! 

Bulgaria is an Orthodox Christian country and people who are very religios start to fast six weeks before Easter (they avoid fish and animal products). The Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday (Tsvetnitsa, meaning Flower Day in Bulgarian, when all people who are named after a flower, e.g. Lilly or Rose, celebrate name day). One day before that, Lazarus Saturday, pussy willow branches are blessed in churches, made into crowns by young girls and thrown in rivers (girls believe that their future husbands will find them somewhere along the river). 

Bulgarian dye Easter eggs on Thursday or Saturday and keep the first dyed egg (which has to be red) until next Easter. People believe that this will keep their family healthy and happy throughout the whole year. According to old traditions, one must not eat, drink, do laundry or even take a shower on Friday (of course, most people do each activity). On Saturday, people go around 11 PM to the nearest church and wait for the holy fire from Jerusalem until midnight (it indeed comes from Jerusalem by plane and then priests travel to each part of the country to bring it to all people). Then, people who have lit candles in hand walk around the church for three times (it is believed that the candles of good Christians will not go out even if the weather is quite windy). People greet each other with "Hristos voskrese", meaning "Christ has risen". The reply is "Voistine voskrese", in English "He has risen indeed".

Easter in Bulgaria

Then it's time for the fun part - egg fights. People smash eggs into each other - whoever has the egg that does not get broken is believed to have a year full of health and luck. We also eat kozunak (a sweet leavened bread) and celebrate Easter for three days! People with the names Velichka, Velik or Velika celebrate name day!

Hristos voskrese!


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