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James Callow Folklore Archive

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SURVAKNIZA NEW YEAR

AROUND THE NEW YEAR IN BULGARIA, THE CHILDREN PEEL OFF THE OUTSIDE
BARK OF A PARTICULAR KIND OF TREE BRANCH SO THAT THE BRANCHES
BRANCH OUTWARD IN A CONICAL EFFECT. THESE SHAPED BRANCHES ARE
THEN DECORATED WITH BITS OF CLOTH AND ORNAMENTS. THE EFFECT IS
MUCH LIKE A SMALL CHRISTMAS TREE. ON NEW YEAR'S DAY THE CHILDREN OF
THE AREA PAT PEOPLE ON THE BACK WITH THESE BRANCHES, WISHING THEM
PROSPERITY AND GOOD HEALTH FOR THE COMING YEAR. HOMES ARE BLESSED,
ALSO LIVE STOCK AND ANIMALS WITH A TOUCH OF THE TREE BRANCH.
IN RETURN FOR THIS THE CHILDREN ARE GIVEN SMALL PRESENTS, TOYS
AND CANDIES BY THE RECIPIENTS.

Submitter comment:

THE INFORMANT REMEMBERS WITH DELIGHT PARTICIPATING IN THIS CUSTOM
AS A YOUNG BOY. HE CONSIDERS THIS TO BE A VERY NICE CUSTOM,
WITH A GOOD PURPOSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HENDRICKSONS PHARMACY ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): GIFTGIVING ; PROSPERITY ; RITUAL WHIPPING

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 03-21-1970

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