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Bulgarian's Celebrate St George's Day

There may be many things that the Bulgarians do not do as well as other nations - electrics, waste management and customer service to name a few, but Bulgaria has so much to offer in the way of a

quality lifestyle that these issues pale into insignificance and there's one thing that the Bulgarians do better than any nation on earth - they know how to party!

One of the beauties about spending time in Bulgaria is that you get to make friends with the locals and share in their many celebrations. Many celebrations focus around people celebrating their name day.
Celebrating your name day is a bit like celebrating your birthday, except name days were around long before birthdays were celebrated. Name days are listed in the liturgical calendar each year and those whose names are the same as a saint celebrate on the saint's day. There are two versions of the calendar, the Gregorian and the Julian calendar and this has lead to some people having two different days for their name.

Celebrating 6th May - St George's day Bulgaria

By far the most common name in Bulgaria and consequently the most popular name day has to be George's Day, which is celebrated this week on May 6th. St George is the patron saint of shepherds, farm animals and strangely enough the army. The Army day, also known as the Day of Bravery is commemorated every year on St. George's Day and is an official holiday in the country. Parades are organised in the capital Sofia to present the best of the army's equipment and manpower.

On this day lambs and goats are slaughtered in ritual celebrations and eaten at the name day feast.
The lamb will be either barbequed whole on a spit roast or slow roasted in an oven and stuffed with a delicious rice stuffing. (Bulgarian rice partly cooked mixed with spring onions, mushrooms, mint and spinach). In true Bulgarian style friends and family will gather together to enjoy the meal and a rakia or two!

If you attend someone's name day then be sure to great them with the words, "Da ti e zhivo i zdravo imeto," which means, "Let your name live on."

If you want to find out your name day you can either go to a church to buy the name day calendar known as the tsurkonovo kalendarche to find out when you should be celebrating your special day. Once you have the date let everyone know and invite them over for a huge party, but make sure you have plenty of food and drink, because on a name day in Bulgaria, people do not need an invitation to celebrate.