Bulgaria is known for its rich history and culture. This country which lies exactly in the middle of Easter and Western side of the world has a very unique and amazing way of celebrating Easter. With the rich influence of both the western and eastern cultures, Easter is well celebrated. The ancient civilizations which have formed the country have imbibed religious and traditional qualities in the country. It is a major holiday season for people in Bulgaria. Every important event of Easter is celebrated with pomp and style in this country. Starting with the Palm Sunday to Easter, Bulgaria celebrates the whole week in the most exotic way.
The theme of Easter in Bulgaria can be seen with the sight of large red Easter eggs present in everyone’s home. Easter breads are also a major part of the delicacies which are served in every hotel and homes. ‘Velikden’ is how people in Bulgaria call Easter. The immense faith in the resurrection of Jesus is observed in this time of the year. People gather at churches to participate in the midnight mass before Easter Sunday. With great anticipation the locals pray for Jesus and praise his teachings which he has given to the world.
One of the major activities of Easter in Bulgaria is the ‘Good Luck Crack’. After the midnight mass on Saturday, people gather and break their Easter eggs. This is a very unique tradition which you find only in Bulgaria. This activity attracts many people from all across the country and everyone can participate. The first egg that is cracked is on the wall of the church. Once the first egg is cracked people dig into the Easter delicacies. The breaking of the egg is considered as a sign of breaking the fast which they observe for Lent. The person who has the last unbroken egg is considered to have a happy and healthy life in that year. This unbroken egg is considered as a good luck charm to him/her.
Easter eggs are either bought from the market or are presented by the loved one. Everyone gifts Easter eggs to their family and friends as a sign of sharing their luck. The person who gives the eggs takes some money from the person taking the egg. The tradition has been running in the country since a long time. Generally people send a loaf of Easter break and eggs to their family members or friends.
Another heartwarming activity which is unique while Easter in Bulgaria is the tradition of sending gifts to the Turkish families by the Christian families. This is to honor the Turkish friends who feel proud to be a part of the Christian family’s celebrations of Easter. On the eve of Good Friday, all the families by one type of Easter pastry and share it among their friends and family.
No Easter is complete without the delicious Easter feast. There is a long list of recipes which are cooked on this particular day. Some of the famous Bulgarian recipes are banista(which is a Bulgarian pastry), Palachinki (Bulgarian pancake), Baklava and Wine Kebap. These dishes are traditionally served on Easter Sunday when the festive season begins. The feast is generally had in big groups by inviting friends and family over. This is continued all through the week.