Eggs in a basket in Keila:
Easter, or Velikden in Bulgarian, is the greatest Christian holiday observed in Bulgaria:
Like the other, the SOS families in our SOS Children's Village in Dren are respecting the traditions of this holiday.
The preparations for the holiday being on the Thursday before Easter, called Good Thursday. On this day the first red egg is dyed. Then the SOS mothers take this egg and rub it against the cheeks of their children telling them to be "white and red". This custom is symbolic for staying pure and healthy throughout the year.
On Good Friday and Good Saturday many of the children and SOS mothers attend liturgies at the local church.
On Sunday is Easter. I will tell you how we celebrated Easter last year in the SOS Children's Village in Dren.
Two weeks before the holiday at one meeting of the children's parliament we announced three competitions: - For most beautiful children's drawing on the subject of Easter; - For the most colourful Easter egg and Easter ornament; and - For the "soundest" Easter egg.
Our friends from the theatre group Pan joined us to make the festivities happier. They performed interesting games, sang and had fun with us. The actors brought along a professional make-up artist who painted the faces of all children. At the end they presented every child with a small booklets and treats.
That Easter our other dear guests were the representatives of the Chinese Embassy in Sofia. They played table tennis with us and the children explained to them all the Bulgarian Easter traditions.
At the end, it was time to proclaim the winners. The jury had a tough time deciding which is the most beautiful drawing and the most colourful egg. All entries were indeed very pretty. After long deliberation, the first place in drawing went to twelve-year-old Nina and for the egg we had a tie between eight-year-olds Neli and Gosho.
The egg cracking contest was very emotional and loud. At the end we realized, no egg remained completely without cracks. So, we ate them all.
As always on Easter, we also had treats for all children: chocolates, marshmallows and loads of other candies! Happy Easter everyone!