Monday, 6 May 2013

A Six Day Weekend

Poppies are a welcome sight
Anyone trying to get something done in Bulgaria this past week, could well be forgiven for thinking that the country was closed. This certainly seemed to be the case for a lot of banks and officialdom. Hopefully it won't have slipped anyone's notice, but we are now in May. With that comes the usual May Day celebrations, and public holidays. Now this year this fell on a Wednesday. The Orthodox Easter started on the Friday, so many saw it as an opportunity to take the Thursday off and make a proper long weekend of things. Thankfully this didn't seem to affect the supermarkets, although they seemed to be full of customers. Unlike the holiday weekends in the UK, Bulgaria has mainly been blessed with sunshine. We did have a bit of a thunderstorm Saturday night, and some much needed rain but it was quite short lived. That is one thing that I have noticed since moving here, it is all to easy to lose track of what day it is.

Coloured Eggs
So this weekend just gone has been the Orthodox Easter celebrations. By all accounts church services are widely held the length and breadth of Bulgaria, apart from our village, where nothing much happens to notify you of the changing days. For me Saturday is memorable for two reasons. Firstly, by no small miracle Crystal Palace managed to stay in the play off places after the final game of the regular season. As is usual with them, they chose not to make things easy for themselves, now it's fingers crossed for the play offs. Also Saturday saw a 3 foot long snake trying to take up residence in our cellar. It seemed to have a bit of a grumpy disposition, and didn't like being picked up and thrown out of the french windows. So much so that it was rearing up and striking out at me. How it got in remains a bit of a mystery, but it could have been when I was cutting the grass out the front as the power lead was pugged in down in the cellar.

So that means that yesterday was Easter Sunday, maybe I am not so lost when it comes to which day is which after all. Some of you might remember that we had already celebrated the 'normal' Easter earlier in the year, and we now had the chance to celebrate a second time with Bulgarian friends. There seemed to be quite a lot of food which holds special significance. Sweet loaves of bread and coloured eggs to name but two. Net had made a grand job of slow roasting a joint of lamb. The only trouble being it was so tender that it was difficult to carve, not that anyone seemed to mind too much. The meal seemed to have something similar to a halftime when the coloured eggs came out. The purpose seems to be to try and crack other eggs while keeping yours intact. Whoever manages to do so will be blessed with good health for the coming year. Some of the eggs are really decorative, and if you have small children it must be great fun dyeing the eggs with them and choosing which design will go on which egg. Once eggs had been cracked it was back to eating again, and one of my favourite things, white chocolate cheesecake. Now for anyone who has never tried this, you are really missing out on a delight, but it probably wouldn't make it into anyone's calorie controlled diet. It is sinfully decadent, but I just don't care.

Anyone seen any eggs?
Today is the Bulgarian Saint George's day, possibly another excuse for a party. We had been invited out to the campsite in Dragizhevo, for the children's Easter Egg hunt, but we only went if we could be of some use. As luck would have it as soon as we got there I was able to start blowing up balloons, which meant that Ivan and Rado could start decorating the terrace area. During the Easter Egg hunt itself my task was to marshall the children away from the reed beds. It did give me the chance the witness Bulgarian children helping each other, rather than the normal squabbles that children in the UK seem to resort to. I also managed to take a few photos throughout the day of the various different games and activities. It seemed as though at one point it wasn't going o be just children having all of the fun.
Adults Can Be Big Kids Too 
How It Should Be Done

The best part of the day was that all of the children enjoyed themselves, and there were no temper tantrums. There was no pushing and shoving and the smaller ones were allowed to have slight advantages over the bigger ones with no grumbling. It was a pleasure to see everything being done in such a good nature, even some of the games which could get a bit messy. One such game involved eggs, some were hard boiled and some were raw. The object of the game was to break the eggs on a table, those with the raw eggs won, it was just messy enough for the children to really enjoy. All in all a brilliant day of fun and laughs, and it was great that we were invited to attend. So a very big thank you to Nick and Nicky and their staff at camping Veliko Tarnovo. At the end of the events there were prizes, and the children had a picnic lunch. At least the temperatures had cooled down a wee bit for them, as it would not have been quite so much fun in last week's heat. Also a very warm welcome to Ann, who has taken the plunge and started following the blog all the way from Canada.
Another Game With Eggs
Anyone For Eggs?

Prize Giving

Sack Races


  1. Luckily, it happened the UK May bank holiday to be the same weekend as the Orthodox Easter this year, so we managed to have some time off too. The best thing - it even got warmer in Britain.

  2. An English Bank Holiday and the sun shone? You ought to make a note in your diary as it doesn't happen very often :o)

  3. THANK YOU for this post!
    Great looking Easter eggs! (I am kind of late but hey, compliments are always good to hear ;) )
    So, as I was saying, thank you as (once again) I couldn't celebrate Easter with my family and this post made me smile several times and I enjoyed reading it very much. I am glad you also experienced the Orthodox Easter!

    1. I am glad that these blogs help in even such a small thing, and thank you for starting to follow these blogs Iana :o)