Having recently spent a few days in Bulgaria, and immersing myself in the culture (especially the food ?), it got me thinking about the different ways that people celebrate Easter.
As you may know, many of our Just Helpers team originate from Bulgaria, so it is a country particularly close to our hearts.
Firstly, did you know, that Bulgarians celebrate Easter on a completely different day? This year it is a week later than ours, with Easter Sunday falling on Sunday 19th April.
As a nation, they have many beautiful traditions and this time of year has a few of my favourites. If you enter a house in the lead up to Easter and in the following week, you will be presented with a brightly painted boiled egg, and a special sweet bread known as ‘kozunak‘. Many families will have their own recipes and ways of doing this.
Similar to us, lamb will be served on Easter Sunday, and if it’s anything like the mouthwatering tender lamb I tasted in a restaurant at the base of Mount Vitosha, then you are in for a treat.
The egg symbolises the resurrection of Jesus 2000 years ago. And as with many things Bulgarian, their sense of fun and celebration accompanies this. There is an egg-tapping game (a mild version of conkers), and the person left with an unbroken egg will be proclaimed the winner. This egg is supposed to be kept as a sign of good fortune until next Easter.
A Special Day
If your helper is named after a flower, then it is likely that they will celebrate their name day on Palm Sunday. In our agency, this will apply to Roza, Tsveta, Tsvetanka, Margarita and Kamelia. Do consider leaving them a little ‘Happy Name Day’ gift.
My Easter prayer is that the recent challenge and impact of the Coronavirus in our country and across the world encourages us as humans to act as Jesus would – with love, kindness and mercy to each other.
I’m working out how to virtually spend time with my church family, reflecting on the past year, being thankful for the many blessings in my life, and asking myself again, how can I be a blessing in my corner of the world.