Bulgaria: Roma Communities Embark on Three-Day New Year Celebrations

Society | January 13, 2024, Saturday // 11:01|  views

The Roma New Year festivities kick off, spanning three days of cultural revelry. Vasilitsa, or "Bango Vasil" among the Roma people, holds a special place as one of the most cherished family holidays.

During this celebration, families come together for a festive dinner, with homes securely locked and a prohibition on going outside. Traditional dishes such as roast chicken, cake, boule bread containing a hidden penny for prosperity, and sarmi (dolmas) with lucky dogwood buds adorn the table. As the clock strikes midnight, signaling the beginning of the New Year, house doors swing open to welcome guests. However, a heartwarming tradition precedes the revelry – children extending greetings to adults, wishing them good health and happiness.

Legend has it that Bango Vasil is associated with Saint Basil the Great, who, according to the tale, intervened to reconstruct a bridge destroyed by the devil, enabling the Roma community to cross safely. Saint Basil, revered as their patron saint, is central to the significance of Bango Vasil.

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Tags: Roma, New Year, Bango Vasil, Cultural


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