Saturday, 1 January 2011

Честита Нова Година

Well, here we are and it's the start of a New Year and our first blog of 2011. We hope that you are all well and not too hung over from partying last night as you ushered in the coming year. Last night was very quiet for us, we did have plans but being unwell put paid to those. Instead we stayed indoors, in front of the fire with big mugs of tea and coffee, and watched those hardy souls in Sofia celebrating. At the stroke of midnight fireworks were let off round the village, we could even hear fireworks from Vinograd and Strelets. With the village being in a bit of a dip, it was echoing round the hills which set of the village dogs. Not wanting to be left out our three wanted to go out and join in, the cats were much more sensible, and opted for staying indoors curled up in front of a nice warm fire.
New Year's Day and bright blue skies are here to greet us, the snow and ice is melting (just in time for the next lot). I just wish that the village children were not such early risers, the doorbell has been ringing and ringing since daft o'clock. At least we knew what to expect, unlike our first year here, to those who don't know it is vaguely similar too Halloween but without the tricks. I have included an article explaining the proceedings that I found on one of my language courses;

January 1st is also Vasílyovden (St. Basil’s Day), when survakári - groups of young
boys (age 4-5 to 10-12), go from home to home of close relatives and neighbours,
reciting New Year’s wishes and tapping everyone on the back with their richly
decorated cornel twigs (surváchka). The traditional survachka (with many regional
variants) is decorated with wool, strings of popcorn, fried fruit, small bread rings,
coins, etc threaded on a red string. These days stall vendors on streets everywhere
sell many commercially produced and not so traditional-looking surváchki, which
parents buy for the kids. In the cities children don’t go anymore from house to house,
but instead tap the backs of relatives, friends and neighbours visiting the house on
the first day of the New Year.
The traditional rhyme known by all Bulgarian children goes like this:
Сурва, сурва година,
Весела година,
Голям клас на нива,
Червена ябълка в градина,
Жълт мамул на леса,
Голям грозд на лоза,
Пълна къща с деца,
Пълна кесия с пари.
Живо, здраво догодина,
Догодина, до амина!
(Literary means: Beat, beat the year, a merry year, a big ear of corn in the field, a red
apple in the orchard, a yellow ear of maize on the stalk, a big bunch of grapes in the
vineyard, a house full of children, a purse full of money. May we live healthy and
happy until next year, until next year and forever – Amen!)

The children in the village don't go in for any of these mass produced wands sold in towns, it's the traditional decorated twigs here. The doorbell has been quiet for an hour now, so maybe they have finished for this year. We have brought wood in for the fires, finished the housework and sorted out the leak from under the kitchen sink, so it's now time to dose ourselves up with more Coldrex, sort out something to eat and have the kettle on constantly.

Well we hope that 2011 is a happy and healthy year for one and all

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