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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Orthodox church celebrates cleansing feast of Sylvestrov Den


Sofia. The Orthodox Church celebrates on January 2 St. Silvester, Pope of Rome with a cleansing feast. According to the traditions, the remains of Christmas are ''cleared away'' by male carolers who arrive to the rich homes with music and songs to pick up a bag filled with meat and wine left for them in the barn.

Girls leave gifts, including a special branch of box-tree in the bag if they expect their loved one to be among the visitors. If a man was earlier offended or repulsed by his lady of heart, he can take revenge on St. Sylvester he can take revenge by putting manure inside the bag instead of taking the branch of box-tree. If this happens, the father rushes to clear the shame before dawn .

The consequences for the hosts who"forget" to give the men the treat are truly harsh - very often in the morning they find ther stables overflowing with dung brought over from neighboring houses. Their daughter is doomed to become the laughing stock at the horo dance because "the boys have shovelled her stables". Such a girl is considered to be "stuck" and it is difficult for her to find a marriage partner.

Today is the name day of everyone named Sylvia, Sylester, Goran, Goritsa("silva" means 'forest' in Latin, while "gora" means the same in BG – both associated with strength and freshness).



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