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Xmas in Bulgaria

Xmas in Bulgaria is slightly different and not led from market trends but instead from the conventional spirit that initially sparked the tradition within the start. The lead up to the Festive season occurs over a two month time frame and the celebration by itself is not as huge commercially as it is in the West. During Communist time, Xmas was not popular as a religious festival given that the Communist regime forbids religion.


Unlike months of buying in excess, many Bulgarians take life uncomplicatedly and a lot still fast during the 40 days, in fact right up until midnight on Dec 24. Main retailers do add festive decorations to their stores. Therefore the growth in shopping malls is introducing the trend of pushing Christmas in a commercial direction. However the excitement has not yet reached the excesses of the Western world and sections of a shop specialize in Christmas. Bulgarian television has a few advertisements advertising the festive season and mainly restricted to December. The outcome of this land of advertising is the fact it reduces the youngsters wanting for all of the latest products.

There is no laborious weekly countdown up to Xmas; children tend to realise it is happening at the start of December, when every class puts up its decorations and a Xmas tree for the play in schools. Charity organisations from overseas visit to dish out a shoe box of gifts and distribute them to children in Eastern Europe.

Xmas in Bulgaria is well known as a celebration to bring family and friends together, with authentic food being high on the list instead of the presents. Various Bulgarians fast during the 40 days leading up to Xmas, where they give up meat. It is really the equivalent to lent in the west in which someone gives up a vice or activity such as smoking or drinking alcohol. Nevertheless the Christmas Eve dinner remains a vegan meal and reflects the past year by consisting of twelve meals representing each month. A silver coin is placed in Banitsa bread and the person who discovers it is supposed to have good fortune for the coming year. The meat comes back for the main dish on Christmas day and is generally pork, by which locals in villages would have reared the pig all year for the tradition.

Xmas in Bulgaria - change

Unfortunately, Xmas in Bulgaria is getting more commercialised the same as Westerly influences. Shops today sell a lot more decorations, Christmas trees and advent calendars plus Santa can also be seen in his grotto in all major cities. Some Kindergartens view a listing of the important present that each child would like to find at Xmas - a subtle sign for all parents. The arrival of the shopping malls additionally will be competing to win every Xmas leva by decorating their stores well in advance to prompt consumers that a good Xmas rests on well chosen presents.  Also it won't be long before Bulgarian TV stations start extra early for the Christmas promoters and fill children's thoughts with ideas way past our earnings!