Christmas is one of the greatest Christian holidays. It celebrates the birth of Jesus, the Saviour. It also has pagan roots, since it was noticed that at that time of year the days start growing again, i.e. the sun is born again. In time the holiday changed its customs and meanings. The Church chose to blend the celebration of Jesus' birth with the old traditions to establish and strengthen the Christian values and morals.

The Christmas celebrations begin on December 24th and end on December 26th.
December 24th is also called Small Christmas (Christmas Eve), December 25th – Great Christmas, and December 26th is the holiday of Jesus' family.
The traditional dishes on the Christmas table include pita, stuffed cabbage leaves, pork steak with mushrooms, stuffed poultry, trotters soup, baked pork liver, banitza with white cheese and leeks, pastrami and cabbage, boiled pumpkin with milk, honey cookies, pumpkin pastry, etc.
As every nation, Bulgarians also have traditional customs followed during the celebration. The host watches and hopes that the first person who will cross the house threshold would be a young girl or a woman, because it is believed that this will bring fertility and health during the next year. A special spirit drink – softened rakia is drank at noon, with the younger members of the family showing their respect for the elder by kissing their hand when they pass them the drink.

The celebration of Christmas begins right at midnight with the traditional caroling (called "koleduvane"), performed only by unmarried or recently married lads. They spent the entire night walking around singing special Christmas song with wished for health and joy for all the families. In return, they are gifted by the hosts with special Christmas buns, money or different foods.

The carolers gather again on December 26th, to share out the buns. Each man takes the bun given from his beloved. If a maiden is liked by more than one of them, they bid for it. The rest of the products are being sold and all the money collected is donated to a church or a school.
Many people celebrate their name day during the Christmas holidays, starting from December 25th with the ones carrying the names Hristo, Bozhin, Mladen, Radomir, Radoslav, Radostin, Kristiyan, Hristina, Reneta, Hristiyana and their derivatives. On December 26th – Yosif and David. On December 27th – Stefan, Stoyan, Stojko, Stoil, Stoimen, Stanko, Tzanko, Stanimir, Stefana, Stefaniya, Stanka, Tanya, Stamena and their derivatives.

The team of Arte.doc greets you a Merry Christmas and wishes everyone happy holidays, health, love and fortune!

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