Easter is one of the most significant holidays in the Bulgarian calendar.
It is called VelikDen which literally means the Great (Velik) Day (Den).
Traditionally in Bulgaria eggs are colored on the Great Thursday or on Great Saturday before Easter. The first egg is dyed in red by the oldest woman in the family. While still freshly colored and warm, she would take the red-colored eggs and draw a symbol of a cross on the foreheads of the yungest children – wishing health and blessings.
Before artificial colors were introduced, eggs used to be dyed using extracts from herbs and nuts. For example oregano was used to obtain red , green came from nettle and yellow – from nuts, apple peels or boiled onion. Additional decorations are made using leaves of parsley or other plants, wax or crayons.
Traditionally, eggs would be put into two baskets – one for the family and another one – for the bestman and bestwoman. Eggs are also given as gifts to each guest of the house.
On the day of Easter (Sunday), people would start tapping their decorated eggs. The belief is that the owner of the egg which survives the “competition” will be the healthiest member of the family. Another typical tradition is to have a speccial Easter bread, known as Kozunak.It is very fluffy, soft and fragrant and tastes sweet. Some believe that the bread sybmolizes the body of Jesus, while the red eggs symbolize his blood.
If you happen to be in Bulgaria on Sunday, you will be greated with the words “Hristos Voskrese” (meaning Christ is Risen). The response is “Voistinu Voskrese” (“Truly, He is Risen”).
Tomorrow is Good Friday, which is also called Holy Friday. Nobody is supposed to get engaged in any activities other concentrate on spiritual purification. Which is why we will not be updating the “blog” until next Week. Meanwhile, let us wish all our friends a lovely and happy Easter, full of peace and love!