Bulgaria

Music and dances in the Belasitsa region

The Belasitsa region is part of the Pirin folklore region. The music and dances in this region are captivating with their variety and vivid style.

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Rusalii Dances

The Rusalii dances are part of the ancient Bulgarian customs at Christmas time. They were held during the so called “Rotten” (Dirty) Days starting at Christmas and lasting until Epiphany (Voditsi).
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A custom recreated by a group of stanichari from Petrich

The Stanchinarska group from Dulboshnitsa neighborhood has existed for over a century now. The group consists of “Araps”, stanchinars, “a priest”, “a devil”, “a grandmother” and “a grandfather”, “a bear handler” and “a bear”, “a sick person carrying a healthy one” and a “pepelazh”.

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A custom associated with St. Barbara’s Day

 

Varvara lived in Illiopolis during the reign of Emperor Maximilian.

Her mother died when she was young and Varvara lived with her father who was a pagan and took great care to raise her as a pagan.

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Agricultural tradition, village of Bagrenitsi

 

The wellbeing of the people of Bagrentsi, as well as of all other villagers who own land depends largely on the quantity of resources yielded by the land they work and on the farm animals and poultry they raise.

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Tradition associated with the Chukata locality, village of Dolistovo

 

Dolistovo is a village in Western Bulgaria. It is located in Bobov Dol Municipality, Kyustendil District. It is situated in the Razmetanitsa area. The whole core of Razmetanitsa is made of tough granite rocks.

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Kukeri dances in the village of Zhabokrat, Kyustendil Municipality

 

The mummer tradition in the village of Zhabokrat is handed down from father to son. There is archived footage from the 1950s.

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Female traditional costume in Kyustendil district

The female traditional costume in Kyustendil belongs to russet type of clothing typical for the whole of Southern Bulgaria. Cut following the model of the Kyustendil “saya” it is very close to the “zabuna” from Bansko, the saya from Devin and Demirkhisar. It was added to the local set of clothing back in 7th -19th century. In some areas it was known as "sagya", as it is called, when used in the Morihovska traditional costume in Macedonia.

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Rituals performed in the village of Mlamolovo

The village of Mlamolovo hosts reenactments of old customs such as: Midwifes Day, St. Theodore’s Day, Trifon Zarezan, Easter, St. George’s Day, Christmas, wedding elements.  

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Traditional costumes from Podgorie (Belasitsa region)

The Podgorie area covers the southern parts of the Petrich and Strumitsa valleys between the towns of Petrich to the east and Strumitsa to the west. To the north it reaches the Strumeshnitsa river.

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St. Ignatius Day (Ignazhden)

According to the popular belief, a new sun is born in December, days grow gradually and the new farming year begins. 20 December is the date on which one of the most important winter holidays is celebrated: Ignazhden.

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Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve (Small Christmas, Incense or Nativity Night) is celebrated on 24 December. On that day, on the eve of Christmas, the whole family gathers around the table. Read more

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“Singing to rings” (Laduvane)

Laduvane (Dailada, Tailada, Ring Dipping) is a custom performed on 27 December, St. Stefan’s Day or on 1 January.

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The Dirty Days of Christmas

 

The twelve Dirty Days last from 25 December to 5 January (Bogy Days, Rotten Days, Ash Days, Unbaptized Days).

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Survakane ritual

Survakane is a custom performed early in the morning of the first day of the New Year. Read more

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