（Contributed by Karl）
Bulgarian traditions and celebrations originate from pagan times and have Christian roots and have been followed for centuries, Baba Marta meaning (Granny March) starting on the 1st of March celebrating the beginning of spring. Family members, relatives, friends, and colleagues give each other white and red tassels that you normally wear on your wrist. These tassels, called martenitsa, are exchanged between people with wishes of health, luck and happiness, wishing for fertility and fruitfulness of the crops, martenitsas are still often hung on fruit trees and livestock in rural areas.
Fire dancing or nestinarstvo is celebrated in the region where i live mainly on the holiday of St. Konstantin and Elena on May 21st. Apart from celebrating the two saints and the fire dancing, the holiday symbolises the transition from spring to summer. Fire dancers are said to be able to connect to the saint and through this connection they can interpret omens, give advice, foretell the future, or communicate with the dead.
Bulgarian Easter Orthodox traditions involve egg colouring and egg breaking, and lovely Easter breads, eggs should be colured on Holy Thursday before Easter Sunday the first egg to be painted should be red, symbolising Jesus’s rise from the dead. Before Easter dinner, a family member chooses an egg and taps it against another, the person with the last unbroken egg is said to have good luck all year. The typical Easter bread in Bulgaria is called kozunak and it is a sweet bread my favourite.
New Year’s eve in Bulgaria is about chasing away the evil spirits called Kukeri. People dress up in handmade costumes and masks, made of wood, leather and fur, with copper and bronze bells hanging of them, they play games tell jokes and jump about and roll on the floor, making as much noise as they can. The better the dance the more spirits have been chased away, and the next year will be as good as it can be.