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Archive for the 'Bulgarian Holidays' Category

Blagoveshtenie: Celebrating the Day of Epiphany in Bulgaria

The Day of Epiphany is a Christian holiday on which people celebrate the epiphany of the триединен Бог (triedinen Bog), or “triune God.” In this article, you’ll learn more about how Christians view the Epiphany holiday, and more specifically, how Bulgarians celebrate Epiphany.

At BulgarianPod101.com, we always aim to ensure that your language-learning journey is both fun and informative—starting with this article on Epiphany! Bulgarian customs may just surprise you. ;)

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Epiphany?

Epiphany is a very old holiday. According to the Orthodox Church, this is the day Jesus Christ was baptized in the River Jordan. Thus the holiday is also called “Baptism of the Lord.” The name Bogoyavlenie is formed by two words: bogo, meaning “God’s,” and yavlenie, which is a word meaning “appearance” or “manifestation.”

According to Christianity, at the baptism of Jesus Christ, the secret of the Holy Trinity appeared—the Son Jesus Christ in human form, the Holy Spirit as a dove alighting upon Jesus, and the Divine Voice of the Heavenly Father. Hence the name Bogoyavlenie.

Jesus Christ was baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist (Yoan Krastitel). The next day on the calendar, January 7, is Ivanovden—name-day of Ivan, Ivanka, etc., and the feast of Sveti Yoan Krastitel (Saint John the Baptist).

2. When is Epiphany in Bulgaria?

Adoration of the Magi

Each year, Epiphany (Bogoyavlenie) is celebrated on January 6 and is also a name-day for people carrying the names Yordan, Yordanka, and similar names. This is because these names derive from the name of the River Jordan (Yordan).

Other common names celebrated on this name-day are Bozhidar, Bozhan, Boyan, Bogdana, and Dancho.

3. Reading Practice: Bulgarian Celebration of the Epiphany

Swimming in Water

On Epiphany Day, Bulgarian traditions and customs reflect the theme of baptism.

Do you know how Bulgarian Christians celebrate Epiphany? Read the Bulgarian text below to find out, and check your reading skills against the English version.

На Йордановден се яде постно и на трапезата трябва задължително да присъстват царевичен хляб или царевични питки.

Популярен обичай на Богоявление е да се хвърля кръст в леденостудените води на реките. Обикновено мъже скачат да го уловят. Този, който го намери се смята, че ще бъде благословен с късмет.

On Yordanovden, people fast, and there must be cornbread or flat corn loaves on the table.

A popular custom on Epiphany is to cast a cross into the ice-cold water of the rivers. Usually, men jump in to take it; the one who finds it is considered to be blessed with luck.

4. Many Names

Epiphany in the Bulgarian culture is a holiday with many names. Do you know what they are?

Besides Baptism of the Lord, this day is also called Yordanovden, Winter Feast of the Cross, Enlightenment, Waters, and even Vodokrashti, because of the association with Jesus’s baptizing in the waters of Jordan.

5. Essential Bulgarian Vocab for Epiphany

Cleaning Hands in Water

Here’s some Bulgarian vocabulary you need to know for Epiphany!

  • състезавам се (sastezavam se) — compete
  • Кръщавам (krashtavam) — baptize
  • Кръст (krast) — cross
  • Мъдрец (madrets) — Wise Men
  • хвърлям във водата (hvarlyam vav vodata) — toss in the water
  • мъже танцуват в реката (mazhe tantsuvat v rekata) — men dancing in the river
  • Почитам (pochitam) — worship
  • поклонение на влъхвите (poklonenie na vlahvite) — adoration of the Magi
  • Водосвет (vodosvet) — sanctification of the water
  • триединен Бог (triedinen Bog) — triune God
  • Пречистване (prechistvane) — purification
  • скачам във водата (skacham vav vodata) — jump in the water
  • мокри дрехи (mokri drehi) — wet clothes

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Bulgarian Epiphany vocabulary list!

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about the Bulgarian Epiphany traditions and the story behind this significant Christian holiday.

Do you celebrate Epiphany in your country? If so, how? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re interested in learning more about Bulgarian culture, or want to learn some wintery words to get you through the next couple of months, you may find the following pages useful:

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Happy Bulgarian learning! :)

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Celebrating Revival Leaders’ Day in Bulgaria

There is a special holiday in Bulgaria dedicated to the national revival leaders. These leaders of the Bulgarian people are bookmen and revolutionaries; people who through the different periods of time had helped with the enlightenment of the Bulgarian people.

In this article, you’ll learn about Revival Leaders’ Day (sometimes called National Revival Day) and how Bulgarians celebrate. Further, we’ll provide you with some information on those involved in the Bulgarian national revival.

At BulgarianPod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is Revival Leaders’ Day?

The Day of the Bulgarian National Revival Leaders is a public holiday, celebrated annually with torchlight processions. The holiday emerged as a way of commemorating the work of people who helped in the national liberation movement of the country. The role of such people in the revival and promotion of the Bulgarian spirit through hard historic events is very important.

Who are the national leaders honored on this day? They include Saint Ivan of Rila, Paìsiy Hilendàrski (Paisius of Hilendar), Vasil Levski, Hristo Botev, Ivan Vazov, and many other people who had contributed to the development of Bulgaria through history. The church holiday on which the Day of Saint Ivan of Rila was commemorated turned into an official holiday under the name Day of the Bulgarian National Revival Leaders.

In 1945, the communist regime in Bulgaria revoked the holiday celebration, because it was in contradiction with the propaganda and censorship imposed at that time. Despite this, it was celebrated unofficially, and in 1992 it became an official holiday again. Since 2002, on this day, the national flag in front of the Presidency is raised and the changing of the sentry takes place, as on other big holidays.

2. When is National Revival Leaders’ Day?

Bulgarian Flag

Each year, Bulgarians celebrate the Bulgarian Revival Leaders’ Day on November 1.

3. Popular Revival Day Traditions & Celebrations

A Special Program

The Day of the Bulgarian National Revival Leaders is a non-attendance day for all schools. Instead, the Bulgarian high school and university students hold parades, while the museums offer free admission.

As mentioned earlier, there are also torchlight processions on this day. Other festivities include masses for the dead and special school programs related to the Bulgarian revival.

4. Two Other Holidays

What else is celebrated on the Day of the Bulgarian National Revival Leaders?

Since 1991, November 1 has also been regarded and celebrated as the Day of Bulgarian Science and the Day of Bulgarian Journalism. On this day, the Union of Bulgarian Journalists gives its annual awards.

5. Essential Revival Leaders’ Day Vocabulary

View of Misty Land from Above

Here’s the most essential vocabulary you should know for Revival Leaders’ Day!

  • Паисий Хилендарски
    Paisii Hilendarski
    Paisius of Hilendar
  • Прекланям се
    Preklanyam se
    Bow
  • Просветител
    Prosvetitel
    Enlightener
  • Възраждам се
    Vazrazhdam se
    Resuscitate
  • Възрожденски
    Vazrozhdenski
    Renaissance
  • Държавен суверенитет
    Darzhaven suverenitet
    State sovereignty
  • Памет
    Pamet
    Memory
  • Отменен
    Otmenen
    Canceled
  • Свети Иоан Рилски
    Sveti Ioan Rilski
    Saint John of Rila
  • Национално самосъзнание
    Natsionalno samosaznanie
    National identity awareness
  • Наум
    Naum
    In one’s mind
  • Уважаван
    Uvazhavan
    Respected
  • Подражавам
    Podrazhavam
    Imitate
  • Празнична програма
    Praznichna programa
    Festive program
  • Панихида
    Panihida
    Mass for the dead
  • Последовател
    Posledovatel
    Follower

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Revival Leaders’ Day vocabulary list! Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation, alongside a relevant image.

Final Thoughts

Man Scratching Head

We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about Revival Leaders’ Day with us, and that you took away some valuable information!

Does your country have a holiday for honoring important historical figures? Let us know in the comments!

Learning about a country’s culture may be the funnest part of trying to master a language. At BulgarianPod101.com, we have fun and effective lessons on many aspects of Bulgaria and its people. For further learning, you may want to check out one of the following pages:

Learning a new language is no easy feat, but practice and consistency are key. At BulgarianPod101, we believe that you really can master the language, and we’ll be here with help and encouragement on every step of your language-learning journey!

Happy learning!

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How to Celebrate the Feast Day of Prophet Elijah in Bulgaria

The_Feast_Day_of_Prophet_Elijah_in_Bulgaria
The Saint Elijah Feast Day in Bulgaria is a huge event, rooted in both history and folklore. In this article, we’ll answer the question “Who is Prophet Elijah?” and provide you with interesting information on this Bulgarian holiday, and the traditions associated with it.

In learning about Saint Elijah Feast Day, you’re learning so much more! This is just one moving part in the complexity of Bulgarian culture, history, and religion, and knowing about these things will significantly improve your Bulgarian language-learning!

At BulgarianPod101.com, we hope to make this learning adventure both fun and informative!

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1. What is St. Elijah’s Day in Bulgaria?

The Saint Elijah Feast Day is when Bulgarians commemorate and celebrate the Prophet Elijah (also known as St. Elijah). This is also a name day for those with names similar to Ilenden, which is yet another name for this holiday.

Who is Elijah the Prophet?

Saint Elijah—patron saint of tailors, and master of the elements of rain, thunder, and lightning—is considered a great of the Old Testament and is also a prominent figure in Bulgarian folklore. In the Bible, Elijah the prophet of God performed many miracles, combatted paganism, and is perhaps most well-known for never actually dying, but rather being taken up to God in a chariot of fire.

Prophet Elijah miracles include raising people from the dead and causing fire to fall from the sky.

In terms of folklore, Prophet Elijah is thought to control the elements involved in thunderstorms and similar natural occurrences.

2. When is St. Elijah Day?

Prophet Elijah in Stained Glass

Each year, St. Elijah’s Day takes place on July 20 (though there is another similar celebration on August 2).

3. How do Bulgarians Celebrate the Saint Elijah Feast Day?

Hands Folded in Prayer

There’s a variety of traditions and celebrations for the St. Elijah Feast Day, many rooted in folklore.

The most common St. Elijah Day tradition is that of offering a sacrifice. Bulgarian towns will sacrifice a bull or a calf, in hopes that the sacrifice will satisfy St. Elijah and thus protect the town from bad storms. In the same vein, farmers pray to St. Elijah for rain in order to maintain healthy crops; Bulgarians also pray to Elijah for health and fertility.

Further, women bake bread for St. Elijah, namely bogovitsa and kolach, and Bulgarians enjoy sharing stories about the saint. Another fun tradition is that of fire dancing. During this fire dancing ceremony, some people walk on the fire barefooted!

Many Bulgarians believe that it’s bad luck to go swimming on St. Elijah Feast Day, especially in the Black Sea. According to superstition, St. Elijah will take those who go swimming as a sacrifice!

4. Uprising Remembrance

July 20 also marks the anniversary of the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising. During this uprising, Bulgaria set out against the Ottoman Empire to unify Bulgarian-populated territories. This event lasted approximately eleven days and was only partially successful.

The official remembrance day for the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising is August 2.

5. Vocabulary You Should Know for St. Elijah’s Day

Hands Holding Light

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for St. Elijah’s Day in Bulgaria!

  • Гръмотевица (gramotevitsa) — thunder
  • Жертва (zhertva) — sacrifice
  • Свети пророк Илия (Sveti prorok Iliya) — Prophet Elijah
  • Илинденско-Преображенско въстание (Ilindensko-Preobrazhensko vastanie) — Ilinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising
  • Събор (sabor) — congregation
  • Градушка (gradushka) — hail
  • Бунт (bunt) — revolt
  • Стар Завет (Star Zavet) — Old Testament
  • Чудотворец (chudotvorets) — wonderworker
  • Крепост (krepost) — fortress
  • езическо божество (ezichesko bozhestvo) — pagan deity
  • моля се (molya se) — pray
  • Удрям (udryam) — strike
  • Завалявам (zavalyavam) — start to rain

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Bulgarian St. Elijah’s Day vocabulary list!

Conclusion

What do you think of St. Elijah Feast Day, and the Bulgarian folklore surrounding it? Did you learn anything new today? Let us know in the comments; we always look forward to hearing from you!

To continue learning about Bulgarian culture and the language, explore BulgarianPod101.com and take advantage of our fun and practical learning tools. Read more insightful blog posts like this one, study our free Bulgarian vocabulary lists, and become a part of our online community! By upgrading to Premium Plus, you can also begin using our MyTeacher program, which allows you to learn Bulgarian according to a more personalized plan with your own teacher.

Learning Bulgarian isn’t easy, but know that your hard work will pay off and you’ll be speaking, writing, and reading Bulgarian like your first language before you know it! And BulgarianPod101 will be here with you each step of your journey there.

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How to Celebrate International Children’s Day in Bulgaria

Children’s Day in Bulgaria, as you may already know, is a day dedicated to honoring and celebrating children. After all, they have so much potential to offer the world. In this article, we’ll give you some information about Children’s Day in Bulgaria, and what makes it special (considering the existence of World Children’s Day).

At BulgarianPod101.com, we hope to make learning both fun and informative as you gain insight into Bulgarian culture. Knowing a country’s culture is a vital step in language mastery, and holidays represent a significant part of any country’s culture.

That said, let’s talk about the origins of this holiday, and take a look at the most common Children’s Day celebrations in Bulgaria!

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1. What is Children’s Day?

This day is celebrated by almost all countries from the former Socialist Bloc. The holiday originates from the World Conference on the Well-being of Children held in Geneva in 1925. Children’s Day is important because it reminds adults of the necessity for special protection of children’s rights. Children’s rights include the ideas of equity in upbringing, education, social protection, and physical and spiritual development of all children.

2. Children’s Day Date: When is Children’s Day in Bulgaria?

Children Playing Outside in Field

Each year, Bulgarians celebrate International Children’s Day on June 1. This has been the official Children’s Day date since 1950. It began to be honored after 1949, when Moscow established June 1 as the International Day for Protection of Children.

However, the International Kids Day (or International Children’s Day) date is different. We’ll talk more about this later!

3. Children’s Day Celebrations in Bulgaria

Parents Walking with Children

Learn how Bulgarians celebrate their Children’s Day holiday by reading the Bulgarian text below. Then, check your Bulgarian reading skills by reading the English text directly below it.

Денят на детето се празнува с игри и мероприятия, безплатни пропуски за деца, панаири и фестивали, концерти, представления и обществени прояви. За децата има много сладолед, балони и усмивки.

Често на Деня на детето се правят конкурси за детски рисунки или прояви, на които се правят рисунки върху детски лица. Така децата могат да се превърнат в любимите си герои за малко и да се снимат така за спомен.

Children’s Day is celebrated with plays and events, free admission for children, fairs and festivals, concerts, shows, and social activities. There’s a lot of ice cream, balloons, and smiles for the children.

Often on Children’s Day there are competitions for children’s drawings or events for face-painting for children. Thus children can spend some time in the shoes of their favorite characters for a while and take pictures as keepsakes.

4. Date of Universal Children’s Day

Do you know when the Universal Children’s Day is?

In 1954 the UN and UNESCO establish November 20 as Universal Children’s Day. Despite this, the date is not adopted everywhere, because most countries already have established traditions for honoring the holiday.

5. Important Vocabulary for Bulgarian Children’s Day

Cluster of Balloons

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for International Children’s Day in Bulgaria!

  • Люлка (lyulka) — swing
  • сапунено мехурче (sapuneno mehurche) — soap bubble
  • Отглеждане (otglezhdane) — upbringing
  • физическо здраве (fizichesko zdrave) — physical health
  • Балон (balon) — balloon
  • защита на децата (zashtita na detsata) — protection of children
  • Жизнерадостен (zhizneradosten) — cheerful
  • Възпитан (vazpitan) — well-behaved
  • Лъчезарен (lachezaren) — radiant
  • разходка в парка (razhodka v parka) — walk in the park
  • играя навън (igraya navan) — playing outdoors
  • Панаир (panair) — fair
  • Проява (proyava) — happening
  • куклен театър (kuklen teatar) — puppet theatre
  • Близалка (blizalka) — lollipop
  • Забавление (zabavlenie) — entertainment

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Bulgarian International Children’s Day vocabulary list. Here, each word is listed alongside an audio file of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

So, reader, we’re curious: How does your country celebrate Children’s Day? Are celebrations similar or very different in your country? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about Bulgarian history, culture, and the language, visit us at BulgarianPod101.com! We offer something for every learner, making it possible for anyone to master Bulgarian and gain a good understanding of Bulgaria itself. Check out our free vocabulary lists to expand your word knowledge, read more insightful blog posts like this one, and use our online community to discuss lessons with fellow Bulgarian learners! You can also upgrade to Premium Plus to take advantage of our MyTeacher program, and learn Bulgarian one-on-one with your own personal teacher.

Your determination will pay off, so just hang in there and keep working toward your Bulgarian learning goals. We’ll be here on every step of your language-learning journey!

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Bulgarian Holiday for the Glagolitic & Cyrillic Alphabet

The Day of Bulgarian Education and Culture and Slavonic Literature (we know, it’s a mouthful…) is a day to focus on the Cyrillic alphabet, as well as the Glagolitic alphabet. Created by St. Cyril and Methodius, the Glagolitic alphabet structure has helped to shape the Bulgarian language as it is today (using the Cyrillic alphabet), making this a day worth its salt.

Learn more about how St. Cyril and St. Methodius impacted the eventual growth of language in Bulgaria below. By learning about Bulgarian Education and Culture Day, you’re opening yourself up to a unique aspect of Bulgarian culture. And as any language learner can tell you, knowing the culture of your target language’s country is a vital step in the language-learning process!

At BulgarianPod101.com, we hope to make this a fun and informative learning adventure!

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1. What is Education and Culture, and Slavonic Literature Day?

Day of Bulgarian Education and Culture is the day of celebrating the creation of the so-called glagolitsa, which is a type of writing system and actually is the first Slavic alphabet. It was created by the brothers Cyril and Methodius, also known as the Brothers from Thessaloniki. They used the Glagolitic alphabet to write the translations of the Bible, and in this way they helped to preserve the cultural heritage for the future Slavic peoples.

2. When is Bulgarian Education and Culture, and Slavonic Literature Day?

Wreath of Leaves

Each year, Bulgarians celebrate Education and Culture, and Slavonic Literature Day on May 24.

3. Reading Practice: Celebrations for this Bulgarian Holiday

Shoes on Wooden Floor

How do Bulgarians celebrate Bulgarian Education and Culture, and Slavonic Literature Day? Read the Bulgarian text below to find out, and find the English translation directly below it.

Денят на българската просвета и култура и на славянската писменост започва да се чества за пръв път в епохата на българското Възраждане като ден за почитане делото на братята Кирил и Методий. Така този ден става един от начините българите да покажат своето признание и преклонение пред образованието, науката и културата. През 1990 година той става официален празник на Република България.

Химн на този празник е песента Върви, народе възродени, която бива изпълнявана всяка година на честванията на 24-ти май. Празненствата включват тържествени програми с музикални изпълнения на хорови песни и на народни танци. Обикновено училищата и университетите имат празнична украса с венци и цветя, както и богата културна програма. Много често се организират и шествия с участието на ученици и преподаватели.

Песента Върви, народе възродени е стихотворение, написано от поета Стоян Михайловски, което вдъхновява композитора Панайот Пипков за музиката към текста. Българите обичат да проверяват дали другите знаят текста и автора на песента.

The Day of the Bulgarian Education and Culture, and Slavonic Literature was first celebrated in the period of the Bulgarian Revival as a day for paying tribute to the work of the brothers Cyril and Methodius. It thus became one of the ways for the Bulgarian people to show their recognition and admiration for education, science, and culture. In 1990, it became a public holiday in the Republic of Bulgaria.

The anthem of this holiday is the song March Ahead, Oh, Revived People which is performed every year at the celebrations of May 24. The festivities include celebratory programs with musical performances of choral songs and folk dances. Usually, the schools and the universities have festive decorations of wreaths and flowers as well as prolific cultural program. Very often, processions are organized with the participation of students and teachers.

The song March Ahead, Oh, Revived People is a poem written by the poet Stoyan Mihaylovski which inspires the composer Panayot Pipkov to write music for the lyrics. Bulgarians like checking if others know the text and the author of the song.

4. Glagolitic & Cyrillic Alphabet Connection

Do you know what the connection is between the glagolitsa (Glagolitic alphabet) and the kirilitsa (Cyrillic alphabet), which is used nowadays?

The Saint brothers Cyril and Methodius created the glagolitsa. The kirilitsa appeared in Bulgaria at the end of the ninth century. During the 10th – 11th centuries, the kirilitsa was used alongside the glagolitsa, but it gradually started replacing it in the twelfth century.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Bulgarian Culture Day

Wooden Alphabet Blocks

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Education and Culture, and Slavonic Literature Day!

  • Библиотека (biblioteka) — library
  • Училище (uchilishte) — school
  • Литература (literatura) — literature
  • Образование (obrazovanie) — education
  • Ден на българската просвета и култура и на славянската писменост (Den na balgarskata prosveta i kultura i na slavyanskata pismenost) — Bulgarian Education and Culture, and Slavonic Literature Day
  • Азбука (azbuka) — alphabet
  • Кирилица (kirilitsa) — Cyrillic alphabet
  • Култура (kultura) — culture
  • Св.св. Кирил и Методий (Sv.sv. Kiril i Metodiy) — St. Cyril and St. Methodius
  • Глаголица (glagolitsa) — Glagolitic alphabet
  • Просвещение (prosveshtenie) — enlightenment
  • Венец (venets) — wreath

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced (yes, even the long holiday name!), check out our relevant vocabulary list. Here, you’ll find each word accompanied by an audio file of its pronunciation.

Conclusion

What do you think of Bulgarian Education and Culture, and Slavonic Literature Day? Does your country have a holiday celebrating any of these things? Let us know in the comments! We want to hear from you! :)

If you’re looking to learn more about Bulgarian culture and the language, visit us at BulgarianPod101.com. Make use of our insightful blog posts and free vocabulary lists, and chat with fellow Bulgarian learners on our online community! If you want a one-on-one learning experience, you can also create (or upgrade to) a Premium Plus account to take advantage of our MyTeacher program.

Learning a new language can be hard, and its culture even trickier, but know that your hard work will pay off! We believe in you—you’ll become a master before you know it!

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St. Trifon Day: Celebrating the Patron Saint of Wine

Sveti Tryphon Zarezan, also known as St. Trifon Zarezan or St. Trifon’s Day, is held in celebration of Saint Trifon, the patron saint of wine. In honor of St. Trifon, Bulgarians celebrate this folk holiday by holding the Trifon Zarezan Festival, which we’ll learn more about below.

By delving into this fun, festive, and merry holiday, you’re also peeling away at the layers of Bulgarian culture. And learning about any country’s culture is vital in language-learning!

Here at BulgarianPod101.com, we hope that you enjoy getting to know Bulgaria and gain valuable insight! So let’s get started.

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1. What is Bulgarian Sveti Tryphon Zarezan?
Trifon Zarezan is also called Vine-Growers’ Day. It’s an unofficial or folk holiday celebrated in honor of Saint Trifon. Other popular names for the feast are Zarezanov Den and Trifon Drunkard.

Saint Trifon himself was a healer and became a saint martyr. He came from a region in Asia Minor, considered to be the land where vines and “wine,” or vinoto, originated. Saint Trifon is considered a patron of vines (or the patron saint of wine) and Trifon’s Day is honored as Vine-Growers’ Day.

2. When is St. Trifon Zarezan?

A Green Vineyard

Some people celebrate this day on February 1, though wineries tend to celebrate on the traditional date of February 14 (yes, the same day that Valentine’s Day is celebrated!).

3. Reading Practice: How is it Celebrated?

How do Bulgarians celebrate the Trifon Zarezan Festival? Read the Bulgarian text below to find out! (You can find the English translation below it.)
—–
Трифоновден се празнува по стар стил на 14-ти февруари, заедно с модерния празник на Свети Валентин. Но традицията повелява на този ден хората с имена, произхождащи от името Трифон да празнуват имен ден. Например това са Тричка, Тичо, Радка, Рачо и други. Трифон Зарезан обаче е основно празник на лозарите, градинарите и кръчмарите.
На този ден обикновено се приготвя варена кокшка и се омесва хляб - обикновено под формата на пита. Лозарите взимат от месото и питата и заедно с бъклица вино отиват на лозето. Там извършват ритуала по зарязването на лозите. След като отрязват по три пръчки, те се прекръстват и поливат лозите с виното.
На ритуала се избира цар на лозята и се закичва с венец от лозови пръчки. Всички се отпрявят заедно към града. Там биват посрещнати с вино, от което отпиват, а остатъкът се плисва върху царя за берекет.
—–
Trifon’s Day is celebrated according to the old style on February 14, together with the modern Saint Valentine’s Day. But tradition demands that on this day the people with names deriving from the name Trifon celebrate a name-day. These names include Trichka, Ticho, Radka, Racho, and others. However, Trifon Zarezan is mainly a feast of vine growers, gardeners, and tavern-keepers.

“Usually,” or obiknoveno, for St. Tryphon’s Day, Bulgarians boil a chicken and ensure that bread is kneaded—generally a flat loaf. The vine growers take some of the meat and bread, as well as a vessel of wine, and go to the vines, where they “perform,” or izvarshvat, the vine-pruning ritual. After cutting three sticks they “cross themselves,” or se prekrastvat, and “water,” or polivat, the vines with the wine.

The “King of the Vines” is elected during the ritual, and is then decorated with a wreath made of vine sticks. All of the people “head,”or otpravyat se, to town, where they are welcomed with wine. They drink the wine and what’s left is “splashed” or se plisva, onto the king for a rich crop.

Group of People Celebrating

1- Side Note on Celebrations

As Bulgarians Празнувам (praznuvam) or “celebrate” St. Tryphon, you can expect for things to get Шумен (shumen) or “noisy.” As you can imagine, on this day of festivity, drinking, and Веселба (veselba) or “merriment,” experiencing a Махмурлук (mahmurluk) or “hangover,” afterward is quite a possibility if you Прекалявам (prekalyavam) or “overdo” it. So have fun, but don’t get too crazy. ;)

4. Additional Information: Patron Saint of Wine (or Vines)

But why exactly is St. Trifon considered the patron saint of vines? What earned him this title, and what other title is he known by?

The legend states that when he used to prune his vineyard, he accidentally cut off the top of his nose. On the icons he is depicted sometimes with a vine-pruning knife or a sickle, and sometimes with a falcon sitting on his hand. According to this tradition, he is also considered patron of the falconers.

5. Must-Know Vocab

A Bunch of Grapes

Here are some words you should know for St. Trifon’s Day. Be sure to study these to increase your Bulgarian vocabulary and better understand this fun Bulgarian folk holiday!

  • Мавруд (mavrud) — Mavrud (Bulgarian grapes)
  • Лозар (lozar) — winegrower
  • лозарска ножица (lozarska nozhitsa) — pruning shears
  • Лозе (loze) — vineyard
  • Махмурлук (mahmurluk) — hangover
  • Мъченик (machenik) — martyr
  • Веселба (veselba) — merriment
  • Шумен (shumen) — noisy
  • Празнувам (praznuvam) — celebrate
  • Прекалявам (prekalyavam) — overdo
  • Суеверие (sueverie) — superstition
  • варя кокошка (varya kokoshka) — boil a hen
  • Пирувам (piruvam) — feast
  • Езически (ezicheski) — pagan
  • Реколта (rekolta) — crop
  • Трифоновден (Trifonovden) — St. Trifon’s Day

To hear the pronunciation of each St. Trifan’s Day word, be sure to check out our relevant vocabulary list, where you’ll find an audio alongside each word.

Conclusion

Now you know about the Bulgarian holiday of St. Trifon’s Day. What do you think about this holiday? Is there a similar one in your home country? Let us know in the comments!

To learn more about the Bulgarian culture and language, visit our website at BulgarianPod101.com! We offer an array of insightful blog posts, free vocabulary lists, and even an online community where you can discuss lessons with fellow students. Download our MyTeacher app to take advantage of a one-on-one learning experience with your own personal Bulgarian teacher!

Until next time, keep practicing your vocabulary and stay tuned for more Bulgarian holiday posts. We wish you well as you continue in your Bulgarian studies!

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How to Say Happy New Year in Bulgarian & New Year Wishes

Learn all the Bulgarian New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join BulgarianPod101 for a special Bulgarian New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in Bulgarian

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in Bulgarian? Let a native teach you! At BulgarianPod101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Bulgarian New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in Bulgaria
  2. Must-Know Bulgarian Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Bulgarian
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You Learn Bulgarian

But let’s start with some vocabulary for Bulgarian New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, like most places around the world, “New Year’s Day” or Nova godina, represents a new start and a cause for grand celebration. Whether at their homes or at a raucous party, Bulgarians ring in the New Year by eating well, drinking abundantly, and watching the spectacular fireworks.

Now before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?

Why do Bulgarians tap each other’s back with “decorated cornel branches,” or survachka, during the New Year’s ritual known as survakane?

If you don’t already know, keep reading! The answer will be revealed at the end!

The New Year’s celebration begins on the eve of the last day of the year, December 31. Parties and gatherings take place in the “central city square” or ploshtad in cities across Bulgaria. Heading to bigger cities, like Plovdiv, Varna, or the capital Sofia, is a popular way to celebrate. However, Bulgarians most often welcome the New Year at “home,” or vkashti. For many Bulgarians, New Year’s represents a time for family and tradition. Food is an important part of this tradition.

The most typical food for the holiday is the “New Year pastry with lucky charms” - banitsa s kasmeti. According to the tradition, small objects symbolizing health and longevity are placed inside the banitsa. For example, the cornel twig with buds on it symbolizes health and longevity.

Instead of charms, however, it’s becoming more and more popular to make banitsa with wishes written on little pieces of paper, pinned on the pastry. The hosts get to choose what wishes are written down, so, usually, they end up being playful jokes, rather than heart-felt desires. People drink plenty of fruit brandy known as rakia and toast to the health of their friends and family, and wish for a prosperous New Year.

As they celebrate, families gather together to listen to the New Year’s speech given by the President known as the novogodishnata rech na Prezidenta. Then, just before midnight, they “count down,” or otbroyavat, the last seconds of the old year.

Happy New Year!

Щастлива Нова Година!
Shtastliva Nova Godina!

2. Must-Know Bulgarian Words & Phrases for the New Year!

Bulgarian Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year

година
godina

This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in Bulgaria could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

полунощ
polunosht

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

Нова Година
Nova Godina

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

You can do it!

4- Party

парти
parti

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing

танцуване
tantsuvane

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

шампанско
shampansko

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

фойерверк
foyerverk

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

Happy Near Year!

8- Countdown

отброяване
otbroyavane

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

Новогодишни празници
Novogodishni praznitsi

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10- Confetti

конфети
konfeti

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

Новогодишна нощ
Novogodishna nosht

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

тост
tost

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

решение
reshenie

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

парадно шествие
paradno shestvie

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At BulgarianPod101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Bulgarian New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions List

So, you learned the Bulgarian word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at BulgarianPod101 - what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your Bulgarian friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

Четете повече
Chetete poveche

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Bulgarian in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Bulgarian language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

Прекарвайте повече време със семейството си.
Prekarvaite poveche vreme sas semeistvoto si.

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

Намалете теглото си.
Namalete tegloto si.

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

Спестявайте пари.
Spestyavayte pari.

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to BulgarianPod101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

Откажете се от тютюнопушенето.
Otkajete se ot tyutyunopusheneto.

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

Учете нови неща.
Uchete novi nesta.

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

Пийте по-малко.
Piite po-malko.

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

Правете редовно упражнения.
Pravete redovno uprajnenia.

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

Хранете се здравословно.
Hranete se zdravoslovno.

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study Bulgarian with BulgarianPod101

Учете български език с BulgarianPod101.com.
Uchete balgarski ezik s BulgarianPod101.com.

Of course! You can only benefit from learning Bulgarian, especially with us! Learning how to speak Bulgarian can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. BulgarianPod101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Bulgarian new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in Bulgarian, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Bulgarian incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with BulgarianPod101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Bulgarian could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Bulgarian - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Bulgarian - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with BulgarianPod101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Bulgarian! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that BulgarianPod101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Bulgarian at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Bulgarian that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Bulgarian with BulgarianPod101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

How to Say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Bulgarian

How to Say Merry Christmas in Bulgarian

Do you know any ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Bulgarian? BulgarianPod101 brings you easy-to-learn translations and the correct pronunciation of Bulgarian Christmas phrases!

Christmas is the annual commemorative festival of Christ’s birth in the Western Christian Church. It takes place on December 25th and is usually celebrated with much food and fanfare! However, not all cultures celebrate Christmas. In some countries, Christmas is not even a public holiday! However, many countries have adapted Christmas and its religious meaning to tally with their own beliefs, or simply in acknowledgment of the festival’s importance to other cultures. If you want to impress native Bulgarian speakers with culturally-appropriate Christmas phrases and vocabulary, BulgarianPod101 will teach you the most important ways to wish someone a ‘Merry Christmas’ in Bulgarian!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Bulgaria
  2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes
  3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary
  4. Twelve Days of Christmas
  5. Top 10 Christmas Characters
  6. How BulgarianPod101 Can Help You

1. How to Celebrate Christmas in Bulgaria

Christmas Words in Bulgarian

“Christmas Eve” or Badni vecher in Bulgarian and “Christmas” or Koleda are holidays popular throughout the world. In Bulgaria, they are “family holidays,” or semeyni praznitsi, and are among the most important Christian holidays of the year. For this reason, Bulgarians celebrate the holiday for three consecutive days—from December 25 to December 27. On these days, everyone spends time with their nearest and dearest, and there are many special dishes and rituals for these holidays.

Now, before we get into more detail, I’ve got a trivia question for you-

What does the word Badni literally mean and why is Badni vecher a strange name for “Christmas Eve”?

If you don’t already know, keep reading! The answer will be revealed at the end!

The holiday called Badni vecher is an Orthodox Christian holiday with many traditional practices. On this day, an abundant feast is prepared but all meals must be meatless. The main dishes usually includes beans or bob, vine or cabbage leaves stuffed with rice, or in Bulgarian sarmi, boiled wheat or zhito, pumpkin pastry, or tikvenik, and dried fruit compote, or in Bulgarian oshav. There will also be fruits, garlic, walnuts, and honey. There must be an odd number of dishes. The most important element is the ceremonial bread. Each member of the family receives a piece of it. In this bread there are lucky charms, and the main one is a coin which brings health and good luck to the person who gets it.

On Christmas Eve, there are lots of folk enchantments and predictions. For example, everyone picks a walnut from those on the table, breaks it open, and, if the walnut is light-colored, it means good luck. At midnight, Christmas comes and, according to the tradition, the koledari will stop by. This is a group of young men led by an older man who go from house to house, dressed in traditional Bulgarian folk costumes. They sing ritual songs and wish happiness to the family, blessing the home at the end.
There is a belief that wishes come true on Christmas.

According to Christianity, Christmas is the day of Christ’s birth—the day when the Son of God, Jesus Christ, was born. That is why this day is also the Name Day or Imen den of everyone named “God’s Gift” or in Bulgarian Bozhidar, “Joyful,” or Hristo, “Glorious,” or in Bulgarian Radoslav, “God is with us” or Emanuil, and other derivative names.

On December 27, St. Stefan’s Day is celebrated, and the people with this name celebrate their Name Day. On these holidays, people go to the church in order to attend the solemn liturgical services.

At home, Bulgarians celebrate a lot like people in other countries around the world—with a Christmas tree, decorations, and, of course, with “Santa Claus” or in Bulgarian Dyado Koleda. During socialist rule, the “Santa Claus” was called “Grandfather Frost” or in Bulgarian Dyado Mraz and he brought presents on New Year’s Day instead of Christmas. However, it has always been a tradition for Dyado Koleda to pay visits to schools and kindergartens.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

Do you know where the name Badni vecher for “Christmas Eve” comes from and what the word badni means?

According to tradition, a special log called badnik is blessed and set alight in the fireplace. The name badni comes from that. The meaning of the word itself is related to another word—badnina which has the meaning of “faith in the future.”

2. Holiday Greetings and Wishes for the Holiday Season

Holiday Greetings and Wishes

1- Merry Christmas!

Весела Коледа!
Vesela Koleda!

Do you know how to say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Bulgarian? Learn here how to pronounce it perfectly! ‘Merry’ means to be joyful, to celebrate and generally be in good spirits. So, with this phrase you are wishing someone a joyful, celebratory remembrance of Christ’s birth!

2- Happy Kwanzaa!

Весела Куанза!
Vesela Kuanza!

Surprise your African-American, or West African native friends with this phrase over the Christmas holidays! Kwanzaa is a seven-day, non-religious celebration, starting on Dec 26th each year. It has its roots in African American modern history, and many people celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas!

3- Have a happy New Year!

Щастлива Нова Година!
Shtastliva Nova Godina!

In countries where Christmas is not officially celebrated, but a Gregorian calendar is observed, this would be a friendly festive-season wish over New Year.

4- Happy Hanukkah!

Честита Ханука!
Chestita Hanuka!

Hanukkah is the beautiful Hebrew festival over November or December each year. It is also called the ‘Festival of Lights’ and is celebrated to commemorate the Jewish freedom of religion.

5- Have a great winter vacation!

Да си изкарате страхотно зимната почивка!
Da si izkarate strahotno zimnata pochivka!

This is a good phrase to keep handy if someone doesn’t observe any religious festival over the Christmas holidays! However, this will only be applicable in the Northern hemisphere, where it is winter over Christmas.

6- See you next year!

Ще се видим догодина!
Shte se vidim dogodina!

Going away on holiday over Christmas season, or saying goodbye to someone about to leave on vacation? This would be a good way to say goodbye to your friends and family.

7- Warm wishes!

С най-топли пожелания!
S nay-topli pozhelaniya!

An informal, friendly phrase to write in Bulgarian Christmas cards, especially for secular friends who prefer to observe Christmas celebrations without the religious symbolism. It conveys the warmth of friendship and friendly wishes associated with this time of year.

8- Happy holidays!

Весели празници!
Veseli praznitsi!

If you forget how to say ‘Merry Christmas!’ in Bulgarian, this is a safe, generic phrase to use instead.

9- Enjoy the holidays!

Насладете се на празниците!
Nasladete se na praznitsite!

After saying ‘Merry Christmas’ in Bulgarian, this would be a good phrase with which to wish Christmas holiday-goers well! It is also good to use for secular friends who don’t celebrate Christmas but take a holiday at this time of the year.

10- Best wishes for the New Year!

С най-сърдечни пожелания за Новата година!
S nay-sardechni pozhelaniya za Novata godina!

This is another way of wishing someone well in the New Year if they observe a Gregorian calendar. New Year’s day would then fall on January 1st.

3. Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Must-Know Christmas Day Vocabulary

Christmas is associated with many traditions and religious symbols in multiple countries across the world. It originated centuries ago in the West with the birth of Christianity, and the celebrations are often embedded with rich cultural significance. So, by now you know how to say Merry Christmas in Bulgarian! Next, learn pertinent vocabulary and phrases pertaining to Christmas, as well as how to pronounce them correctly. At BulgarianPod101, we make sure you sound like a native speaker!

1- Christmas

Рождество Христово
Rozhdestvo Hristovo

This is the Bulgarian word for ‘Christmas’. Most happy Christmas wishes in Bulgarian will include this word!

2- Snow

сняг
snyag

In most Northern-hemisphere countries, Christmas is synonymous with snow, and for Christmas, the snowman is often dressed as Santa Claus.

3- Snowflake

снежинка
snezhinka

Snowflakes collectively make up snow. A single snowflake is small, white, light like a feather and icy cold! When put under a microscope, the snowflake reveals itself to have the most beautiful, symmetrical patterns. These patterns have become popular Christmas decorations, especially in Western countries.

4- Snowman

снежен човек
snezhen chovek

As you guessed - a snowman is only possible to build if it is snowing! What a fun way to spend Christmas day outside.

5- Turkey

пуйка
puyka

Roast turkey is the traditional main dish on thousands of lunch tables on Christmas day, mainly in Western countries. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

6- Wreath

венец
venets

Another traditional Western decoration for Christmas, the wreath is an arrangement of flowers, leaves, or stems fastened in a ring. Many families like to hang a Christmas wreath outside on their houses’ front doors.

7- Reindeer

северен елен
severen elen

Reindeer are the animals commonly fabled to pull Santa Claus’ sled across the sky! Western Christmas folklore tells of Father Christmas or Santa Claus doing the rounds with his sled, carrying Christmas presents for children, and dropping them into houses through the chimney. But who is Santa Claus?

8- Santa Claus

Дядо Коледа
Dyado Koleda

Santa Claus is a legendary and jolly figure originating in the Western Christian culture. He is known by many names, but is traditionally depicted as a rotund man wearing a red costume with a pointy hat, and sporting a long, snow-white beard!

9- Elf

елф
elf

An elf is a supernatural creature of folklore with pointy ears, a dainty, humanoid body and a capricious nature. Elves are said to help Santa Claus distribute presents to children over Christmas!

10- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Рудолф - еленът с червения нос
Rudolf - elenat s cherveniya nos

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ is a Christmas song based on an American children’s story book with the same name. Rudolph is one of Santa’s reindeer. The song became more famous than the book, and can still be heard playing in many shopping malls over Christmas time across the globe!

11- North Pole

Северен полюс
Severen polyus

The cold North Pole is where Santa Claus is reputed to live with his reindeer!

12- Sled

шейна
sheyna

A sled is a non-motorised land vehicle used to travel over snow in countries where it snows a lot, and is usually pulled by animals such as horses, dogs or reindeer. This one obviously refers to Santa’s sled! Another word for sled is sleigh or sledge.

13- Present

подарък
podarak

Gift or present giving is synonymous with Christmas Eve and the greatest source of joy for children over this festive time! This tradition signifies that Christ’s birth was a gift to mankind, but not all people who hand out presents over Christmas observe the religious meaning.

14- Bell

звънец
zvanets

On Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, many religious celebrants enjoy going to church for a special sermon and Christmas rituals. The start of the sermon is often announced with bells or a bell, if the church has one. For this reason, the sound of ringing bells is often associated with Christmas Day.

15- Chimney

комин
komin

The chimney is the entrance Santa Claus uses to deliver children’s presents on Christmas Day, according to folklore! Wonder how the chubby man and his elves stay clean…?!

16- Fireplace

камина
kamina

In most countries where it snows, Christmas is synonymous with a fire or burning embers in houses’ fireplaces. Families huddle around its warmth while opening Christmas presents. Also, this is where Santa Claus is reputed to pop out after his journey down the chimney!

17- Christmas Day

Рождество Христово
Rozhdestvo Hristovo

This is the official day of commemorative celebration of Christ’s birth, and falls each year on December 25.

18- Decoration

украса
ukrasa

Decorations are the colourful trinkets and posters that make their appearance in shops and homes during the Christmas holiday season in many countries! They give the places a celebratory atmosphere in anticipation of the big Christmas celebration. Typical Christmas decorations include colorful photographs and posters, strings of lights, figurines of Santa Claus and the nativity scene, poinsettia flowers, snowflakes and many more.

19- Stocking

чорап
chorap

According to legend, Santa Claus places children’s presents in a red stocking hanging over the fireplace. This has also become a popular decoration, signifying Christmas.

20- Holly

бодлива зеленика
bodliva zelenika

Holly is a shrub native to the UK, and parts of Europe, Africa and Asia. It is characterised by glossy, spiny-toothed leaves, small, whitish flowers, and red berries. Ironically, its significance for Christmas relates to Christ’s crucifixion and suffering rather than his birth. However, the leaves’ distinctive shape and image have become popular Christmas decorations.

21- Gingerbread house

натруфена къща
natrufena kashta

According to legend, the gingerbread house synonymous with Christmas is related to Christ’s birth place, Bethlehem. Bethlehem literally means ‘House of Bread’. Over centuries, it has become a popular treat over Christmas time in many non-religious households as well.

22- Candy cane

захарно чадърче
zaharno chadarche

According to folklore, Christmas candy canes made their appearance first in Germany in the 16th century. A choir master gave children the candy canes to suck on in church in order to keep them quiet during the Christmas sermon! Apparently, the candy is shaped like a cane in remembrance of the shepherds who were the first to visit the baby Jesus. Today, like gingerbread houses, they are still a popular sweet over the festive season!

23- Mistletoe

имел
imel

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on certain trees. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that the mistletoe has magical powers, and could protect a household from evil if hung above a door during December. The belief didn’t last but the habit did, and the mistletoe is another popular Christmas decoration!

4. Twelve Days of Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas

Wow, you’re doing extremely well! You know how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Bulgarian, and you learned pertinent vocabulary too! The Twelve Days of Christmas is not very well known in modern times, so, you’re on your way to becoming an expert in Christmas traditions and rituals. Well done!

The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Twelvetide, is a traditional festive period of 12 days dedicated to celebrate the nativity of Christ. Christmas Day is, for many who observe Twelvetide, the first day of this period.

‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is also a popular Christmas song about a series of gifts given on each day of Twelvetide. According to experts, these gifts were created as a coded reference to important symbols in the Christian church. Here is a list of those gifts mentioned in the song! Do you recognise them?

5. Top 10 Christmas Characters in American Culture

Top 10 Christmas Characters

This is fantastic, you know how to explain almost everything about Christmas in Bulgarian! However, do you know the most popular Christmas characters in American culture? Your knowledge will not be complete without this list.

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