Easter Monday in Bulgaria
Easter Monday, known as "Велики понеделник" (Veliki ponedelnik) in Bulgarian, is a public holiday in Bulgaria celebrated on the day after Easter Sunday. As the date of Easter varies each year, so does the date of Easter Monday. The date is determined by the Gregorian calendar and is observed on the first Monday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox.
The celebration of Easter Monday in Bulgaria can be traced back to the adoption of Christianity as the official religion in the country during the reign of King Boris I in the 9th century. The holiday is deeply rooted in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and is observed by many as an extension of the Easter celebrations, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
National customs for Easter Monday in Bulgaria
Easter Monday in Bulgaria is often seen as a day of rest and relaxation following the extensive Easter Sunday celebrations. It is common for families and friends to gather for a festive meal, featuring a variety of traditional Bulgarian dishes. Some of the popular dishes served during the Easter season include kozunak (a sweet bread), lamb, and various egg-based recipes.
One of the most significant customs during this holiday is the cracking of Easter eggs. On Easter Sunday, people engage in friendly competitions to see whose egg will remain uncracked the longest, symbolizing good health and prosperity for the coming year. The egg-cracking tradition often continues on Easter Monday as well, with family members and friends trying to crack each other’s eggs as a playful gesture.
Local customs for Easter Monday in Bulgaria
In addition to the national customs, various regions in Bulgaria have their own unique ways of celebrating Easter Monday. For instance, in some rural areas, people participate in traditional dances and games, often dressed in colorful folk costumes. In other parts of the country, church services and processions take place, with the faithful attending prayers and blessings for a prosperous year ahead.
Another local custom is the "sprinkling" of young women with water by young men, a ritual believed to bring health and beauty to the women. This practice, known as "Водици" (Voditsi), is especially popular in western Bulgaria and is carried out with good humor and high spirits.
Easter Monday in Bulgaria, or Veliki ponedelnik, is a day filled with joy and celebration, as people come together to share in the happiness of the Easter season. The holiday is marked by a variety of customs, both national and local, that showcase the rich culture and heritage of the Bulgarian people. From festive meals and egg-cracking competitions to traditional dances and water-sprinkling rituals, Easter Monday in Bulgaria is a vibrant and lively occasion for all to enjoy.