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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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SURVAKNIZA NEW YEAR

AROUND THE NEW YEAR IN BULGARIA, THE CHILDREN PEEL OFF THE OUTSIDE
BARK OF A PARTICULAR KIND OF TREE BRANCH SO THAT THE BRANCHES
BRANCH OUTWARD IN A CONICAL EFFECT. THESE SHAPED BRANCHES ARE
THEN DECORATED WITH BITS OF CLOTH AND ORNAMENTS. THE EFFECT IS
MUCH LIKE A SMALL CHRISTMAS TREE. ON NEW YEAR'S DAY THE CHILDREN OF
THE AREA PAT PEOPLE ON THE BACK WITH THESE BRANCHES, WISHING THEM
PROSPERITY AND GOOD HEALTH FOR THE COMING YEAR. HOMES ARE BLESSED,
ALSO LIVE STOCK AND ANIMALS WITH A TOUCH OF THE TREE BRANCH.
IN RETURN FOR THIS THE CHILDREN ARE GIVEN SMALL PRESENTS, TOYS
AND CANDIES BY THE RECIPIENTS.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT REMEMBERS WITH DELIGHT PARTICIPATING IN THE CUSTOM
AS A YOUNG BOY. HE CONSIDERS THIS TO BE A VERY NICE CUSTOM,
WITH A GOOD PURPOSE.

Where learned: TOLD AT HENDRICKSONS PHARMACY

Keyword(s): GIFTGIVING ; PROSPERITY ; RITUAL WHIPPING

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 03-21-1970

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GOOD LUCK NUT

NUTS ARE PLACED IN DISHES AS PART OF THE CHRISTMAS FEAST CELEBRATION
IN BULGARIA. EVERYONE IN THE HOUSEHOLD RETAINS ONE TO BE SAVED
UNTIL NEW YEARS DAY. EVERYONE THEN BREAKS OPEN THEIR NUT AND THE
CONDITION OF THE INTERIOR INDICATES THE OWNER'S FUTURE FOR THE
COMING YEAR. A SOUND NUT MEAT INDICATES PROSPERITY FOR ITS OWNER,
WHILE A ROTTEN INTERIOR SAYS THE COMING YEAR WILL NOT BE GOOD FOR
ITS OWNER.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT REMEMBERS THIS AS A COMMON PRACTICE OF HIS FAMILY IN
BULGARIA.

Where learned: DETROIT ; TOLD AT HENDRICKSONS PHARMACY

Keyword(s): FOOD CUSTOM ; PREDICTION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Single dishes
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Predictions

Date learned: 03-21-1970

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A BIT OF EVERYTHING

IN BULGARIA THE WHOLE OF CHRISTMAS EVE DAY IS SPENT IN PREPARATION
FOR THE CHRISTMAS FEAST. FOR THE FEAST A LITTLE OF EVERY FOOD IN THE
HOUSE IS PREPARED.

Submitter comment:

THE INFORMANT SAID A LITTLE OF EVERY FOOD IN THE HOUSE IS FIXED TO
GUARANTEE PROSPERITY AND SUCCESS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TOLD AT HENDRICKSONS PHARMACY

Keyword(s): CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; FOOD ; holiday

Subject headings: 122 Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.2

Date learned: 03-21-1970

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