With the approaching of the New Year's Eve I started to think of all the things that I used to do in this period of the year when I was a child. Here is one that I really like.
Have you heard of "survakane"? It is an old Bulgarian custom, still preserved today. It is taking place on 1st of January or as we call this day of the year - "Vasilov den".
The ritual consists in rhythmically tapping someone's back with specially prepared for this purpose "survachka" - a decorated cornel twig. In return "survakaria"- the person performing the ritual, who usually is a young boy between 8 and 15 years-old, is receiving traditional gifts like bread, wine, dried fruits, nuts, bacon, etc. While performing the ritual there are also magical words that the "survakaryat" have to say - wishes for happiness, health, fruitful year and wealth.
To make "survachka" you simply need a cornel twig. You can find it in almost every Bulgarian local market. Then decorate it with woolen threads, popcorns, dried fruits, small buns, dried peppers etc. And here is your own survachka!