Bulgarian Tradition History
We could all agree that every place has its fair share of rich history and tradition. Bulgaria, for one, has established a tradition for weddings for more than a hundred years now. They made sure that it will play a special role for their culture. Amazingly, people were able to adapt and keep this tradition of theirs up to this day. Normally, weddings would be the intertwining of two lovers as one, or for some, it could be a celebration of love between two souls. But for Bulgarians, it’s more than that – it will also be a union of two families and a beginning of a common history amongst them.
Bulgarian Tradition Today
Today, you could observe that typical Bulgarian weddings are lively and loud. It always contains a lot of fun, dancing, and generous amounts of alcohol made from homemade rakia and wine. Bulgarian weddings could also be tiresome since some of the weddings could last more than 16 hours!
Famous Bulgarian Traditions
We’ve made a list of the famous traditions Bulgarian still do up to this day, so if you’re planning to get married in Bulgaria, you might want to check this out.
- The Creation of the Wedding Flag – Bulgarian ancestors used to hang flags around their house, usually placed in the groom’s house to let everyone see and know. They also point the flag towards the sun since they believe it’s a sign of good fortune. The flag creation starts with the groom cutting a tree off with a single hit. They believe that it’s a sign that the couple would not remarry. The branch would then be sewn with either red or red-and-white fabric at the groom’s house before it is sent to the bride’s house.
- The Long Walk of the Wedding Invitation – Today, when getting invited to a wedding, it’s usually an RSVP invitation card. But, Bulgarians do it differently. They were able to create a ritual for wedding invitations hundred years ago, and it’s by taking long walks. Usually, the groom, the bride’s siblings, and their relatives would take walks around the village to let them know about the upcoming wedding. The groom would be on his Sunday’s best while holding a bottle of Bulgarian wine; he then would go from one house to another to offer a sip. Once they took a sip, it means they accepted the invitation. For the bride, they would usually carry apples and offer them one.
- Bachelor Parties – Sounds and looks familiar, isn’t it? Bulgarian had a different style of Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties. For the bride’s party, the groom would usually send gifts like rakija, wreaths, bread, and even jewelry, which then the bride would welcome her guests. They would sing several sad songs due to her leaving her father’s house. The groom’s party does it differently, though. He would sit with his friends at a table, and they would make jokes, dares and even wear masks. If the godfather is present, the groom would usually stay silent as a sign of respect.
- The Weaving of the Bride and The Shaving of the Groom – One of the important rituals is the braiding of the hair. It symbolizes the change from a girl to be the wife-to-be. It will be done before the sun rises on the wedding day with the bride facing towards the sun. The bride’s friends will be around her singing sad songs while braiding her hair. Grooming is also a vital part of the wedding ritual. They would also wake up early in the morning then have the groom sit under a tree. Then they will wash him up with clean water from a nearby spring. The grooming will start and be done by either the godfather or the brother.
- The Red Veil and the “Stealing” of the Bride – The bride’s face will usually be covered with a red veil. When she wears her wedding gown, she will wait for the groom and his brother to come and take her. The groom would try to get inside but would not be allowed by the family until they pay with something. Once they paid, the groom’s brother will be entering the house with the bride’s shoes filled with coins. Once the shoes are worn, she will be taken away while the veil is on her face. If anyone would see her face during the process, it could mean a bad fortune for them.
- The Kumove in the Wedding – The Kumove or also known as godparents in Bulgaria, are often the couple’s closest friends of the couple. They would usually be referred to as spiritual parents and would guide the newlyweds.
- Who’s the Boss? – Bulgarian tradition also determines who will be the boss of the family. What they usually do is they have the couple stand back to back, then they will be holding a huge round loaf. At the signal, they will try to break the loaf in half. Whoever gets the bigger chunk will be the boss in the family.
It’s safe to say that Bulgarian Wedding Traditions is filled with fun and hope for good fortune. So, if you ever want to have a unique wedding, you could check these traditions they have.