Today we celebrate one of the brightest Christian holidays - Christmas Eve. It is celebrated by all Christians. The family gathers in anticipation of the birth of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
The Christmas Eve celebration is dedicated to the home, the hearth, but also to the dead ancestors - relatives who are also considered part of the family. The Christian holiday that preceded the birth of Christ, Bulgarians call "Little Christmas", "Dry Christmas", "Deteshka Christmas" or less - "Mali Bozic" and "Craciun".
The holiday table includes ritual bread called "Bogovitsa", "God's Cake", "Bojicnik", "Evening", "Saint" or "Harman". It is prepared with "silent water" by the girl or by a young bride, and the flour is being sieved through three screens. From the dough on the bread are formed images of fields and domestic animals. On the table are an odd number of dishes - 7, 9 or 11. Among them are stuffed peppers with rice, sarmi, beans, lentils, boiled wheat, pumpkin pie, oss. According to tradition, the more dishes, the richer the year will be.
After reading the prayer, the owner of the house breaks bread with a coin and the first piece of her left front of the icon of God, the second is for the house and the rest is shared with each family member. It is believed that whoever gets the coin will have the best luck in the year. The custom requires no one to leave the table while eating. The table is not tidying because it is believed that the dead relatives come to dinner and take care for the welfare of the living.
Today's Christmas tree replaces the Christmas stump in the fireplace- a stump from a fruit tree that burned during all the night of 24 on December 25 in the fireplace, to help the birth of the new sun, of the new God -to give him energy and light.
With church services all over the country, Orthodox Christians will welcome Christmas Eve.