Saint Basil the Great

On 1st January in Bulgaria, according to the civil calendar, the first day of the New Year is celebrated. On the same day the Church observes the memory of St. Basil the Great – one of the three men and great teachers in Orthodoxy. Born in the 4th century, his philosophy has been a pillar of the Orthodox dogmatics even by now. Charity which he was developing throughout all the days of his life makes him a patron of many Christian charitable organizations all around the world.

In Bulgaria, the holiday is known as „Vassilitsa”, „Surva” and „Bango Vassil”. Then people foretell and destine for all the forthcoming days. Traditionally for the ritual table, a cheese pastry with lucky charms is rolled out. Whoever gets the coin, is to have a full year, material and worldly well-being. In some parts of Bulgaria, boys from all the houses gather in companies. Led by the oldest unmarried man, they go round the houses and pronouncing wishes for a rich harvest, they symbolically hit the landlord’s back with cornel-tree twigs, on which there is wool, popcorn, grains and fruits, so that they can be available in superabundance in his home.