Traditions & NameDays

SYLVESTROVDEN (St. Sylvester Day) - January 2

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), Serafim, Ognyan/a, Plamen/a.

In some villages it is also called “Karamanov Day” or  “Rinatchov Day”. On the evening before young men go to “propose” to the young lasses and to demonstrate that they are capable of keeping house. They enter the stable and shovel out the garbage. The hosts leave a bag full of food – sausage, bacon and a bottle of wine as a treat, hanging the bag on a nail behind the door. The young woman secretly puts in a branch of box-tree for her beloved, tied with a bright red thread and wrapped in a multi-colored cloth - a sign that she is waiting for the matchmakers to come.

The consequences for the hosts who“forget” to give them 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.