< Customs and Rituals
Ignazhden


Ignazhden / 20.12 /

This Christian holiday is celebrated in honour of St. Ignatius, he also called himself Bogomolets (Greek: Theophorus “God Bearer”). From Ignazhden until Christmas Eve is the time of Virgin Mary’s throes, who was going to give birth to the young Son of God. According to popular belief Ignazhden is the start of New Year’s and Christmas holidays.

The main ritual on this day is called “polyazvane”. The women watch careful who will enter their home first on this day and so they predict what will be the upcoming year. If the first to enter is a good man and a housekeeper, there'll be a fruitful and happy year for the family. This person, who enters first in the house is called “polyaznik”. The family prepares a special ritual table for the “polyaznik” in order to express their respect and honour towards the guest.

On this day takes place the first Christmas dinner. The food is entirely vegetarian - yeast bread without decorations, bagels, cooked bulgur, potatoes with rice, boiled beans and corn, dried fruits, cabbage, onion, garlic. A candle is ignited on top of the boiled wheat or the bread. The oldest family member censes the table with lit incense.

© Krasimira Dubarova
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