Bulgarian Folk Traditions and Belifs (2014)

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Ключови думиЕтнография, фолклор
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The book consists of eight main chapters dedicated to different aspects of Bulgarian psyche expressed through Bulgarian customs, beliefs, rituals and traditions: folk customs, folk beliefs, folk astronomy and meteorology, the people and things that surround them, animal and plant kingdom, as well as some knacks from folk medicine.
It is interesting to note that most of the customs and rituals that exist in Bulgaria are remnants of old, usually pagan, times, which have later been adapted to Christian religion. That is why even today one can easily notice the two religions intermixing in Bulgarian folk tradition: e. g. koleduvane (‘Christmas boys’), kukeri (‘mummers’), nestinarstvo (‘fire-dancing’), etc. ; holidays: Midsummer’s Day, St. Vasil, etc. ; mythological creatures: vampires, zmey (‘dragon’), lamia, the Plague, witchcraft, the custom of walling people in buildings, among others.

The author of the book Racho Slaveykov was the son of the famous Bulgarian poet, politician, writer and folklorist Petko Slaveykov. Obviously the interest in folklore ran in the family as the son, Racho Slaveykov, decided to undertake the task of compiling a book which presents general readers, lovers of folklore, as well as foreigners with a glimpse at Bulgarian psyche and understanding of the world exhibited in the various customs, rituals, rites, and beliefs presented in the book.
As the author himself has stated the aim of the book is to fill in the void of a single publically available book on Bulgarian national traditions and beliefs. However, as Bulgarian customs vary from region to region, the author has chosen to present those of them that have proven to be more popular adding the peculiarities of other regions which he felt most appropriate or interesting.
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