Posts Tagged ‘different regions’

How a monastery celebrates a brotherhood monk name day – the feast of (Saint Sergii from Radonezh) in Bulgarian Orthodox Church

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Reading Time: 3minutes

Saint Sergii of Radonezh Orthodox icon

Now it is my 4th day being in Pomorie Monastery with Kimba. The monastic life is not so boring as I thought back in the days 🙂
Yesterday I was drived to the Kamenar pub, by one of the workers here in the monastery (with the monastic car an old Ford);
We went to the restaurant in Kamenar village with the blessing of the abbot has blessed that we go and enjoy ourselves for few hours there with a group of tourists staying for (1 or 2) weeks in the monastery.

The pub was quite a news for me as it was a nice looking place with a lounge and swimming pool, this seemed quite unusual for especially since it was located in a village with 200 or 300 hundred of people living 🙂
The village pub had even a billiard table, the coin price there was on the shocking 25 stotinki (0.13) euro cents! 🙂
In the pub came an orthodox priest dressed like a casual person and started singing some traditional old Bulgarian songs (typical for singing in the different regions in BG). The guy was really talented and his memory seem to be very strong, since he was able to sing by heart about 10 songs in a row !

Besides that the priest voice was very beautiful. When I later had a talk with the guy it appeared, he learned professional singing before he became an Orthodox priest some years ago.
What really shocked me when the priest started singing in Italian Luciano Pavaroti, he sang it so well so you can hardly find out if it is not really the real authentic Luciano voice 🙂

This priest and the overall people in the pub had a great fun, as the place and people in were quite spirited; Actually I felt in a while like being in Emil Kosturica's movie 🙂 🙂 🙂

Being over with yesterday I will say few words on my monastic experience today ….
The Church bell rang early in the morning to summit the monks for the early morning prayer followed by a Holy Liturgy served. The Holy Liturgy today served was a co-memoration of the feast of Saint Sergii of Radonezh.

Cause it is weekly day here there were not too many people in the monastic Church. The monastery monks were there,few other people and some Russian pilgrim woman. By the way I'm more and more being convinced that many of the Russian people are very pious oriented and have strong faith in God than us bulgarians. Sadly it appears (from my observations so far) Russians generally are richer in faith.
It is sad that Russian Orthodox Christianity is stronger than ours in Bulgarian, especially when we take the fact historically Russians have received the Orthodox Chrisitian faith and language from us Bulgarians …

One of the key figure (brothers) monks Father Sergii is having a name day here, so due to that and because it is not a fasting day today (Thursday), the traditional monastic dinner was bigger and more rich than usual. Some youghurt mixed with cucumbers (Tarator) as we call it in Bulgaria was served with a little salad a few pieces of Banica and even little meat balls (for people eating meat).
The Abbot of the monastery was not served meat as I heard from the cook lady he is completely abstaying from meat since about 10 years already; some of the monk brother didn't eat meat as well.
The dinner started about 12:20 in the usual dinner room. For another day the food in the monastery was tasting super-delicious.
It is rather interesting that the food here is more delicious than the food we usually eat at home; Probably the food is so delicious because large portion of the food on the table is monastic-grown and besides that a food blessing prayer is said everytime before eat time. Earlier times I've heard many others who visited and eat food in monasteries that the monastic food is tastier and more delicious than we ordinary people have on our tables, however I was sceptical until I experienced it myself, these days.
Cause the food is so tasteful, I consume here usually twice more food than I usually eat at home 🙂

I recommend anyone who didn't eat a meal in a monastery (yet) to try this at least once in a lifetime ;;;

Happy New 2012 Year, few Bulgarian New Year traditions / customs

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Reading Time: 3minutes

Happy 2012 New Year . Wish to everyone best of luck, good health and best of success in the new upcoming year!
There is few customs, which are very typical for Bulgarian Christmas and New Year.
As I'm so keen on tradition and I'm sure many non-bulgarians are not aware of the Bulgarian custom, I'll try to name few of them and shed some light for foreigners who are about to celebrate the Christmas or New year eve in Bulgaria.

One is the back (spine) tapping, done by youngsters to elders with a stick made of cornel-tree and decorated in a very special beautiful way.

Here is how the stick the youngsters use to wish happy new year in a traditional bulgarian custom way.Survaknica Bulgariar New Year (Survane) new year custom
The back tapping to the elder is accompanied by famous words in Bulgarian saying:

Surva, Surva Godina!
Chervena Qbylka v Gradina,
edyr klas na niva,
golqm grozd na loza,
jylt mamul na lesa,
pylna kyshta s deca!
Jivo-zdravo do godina,
do godina do Amina!

This translated to english says something like:

Healthy (Complete), Healthy Year!
Red Apple in a Garden,
Large grapes in the vineyeard,
Yellow corn in the field,
full house with children!
Living-healthy until next year
in these year until the next one.

Actually this New Yearly wishings had different minor text variations in different regions of Bulgaria, but the main meaning is anyhow preserved.

Surva Surva Godina, Vesela Godina kid back tapping an older man Bulgaria
Kid using Survaknica to back tap some older man according to our tradition

You can see how simple and the same time meaningful those wishings are. They accent to the main things which were important for our forefathers. The things on which the yearly daily life depends.

Here is a video of some children in the kinder garden reciting the Surva, Surva wishing holding Survaknici

I've seen for the last 10 years these tradition as a consequence of the internationalization is starting to disappear. Now most of the times only in villages and some small regions these tradition is still practiced.
In cities gipsys are going in the early morning of the New Year morning and knocking on each apartment door offering a back tapping. Once they back tap you with Survaknica and wish you good things you're supposed to give them some food, candies and / or money 😉

Its also common that in the morning of the New Year a lot of folklore ensambles dance on the centers of cities and villages or sing Bulgarian folklore songs.

Bulgarian Folklore Choire

Some of the other things which are a kind of traditional on New Year is to go out on the city center and fire up some fires and dance some traditional dance we call Horo near the camping fire.