One of the merriest and richest festivals in a ritual aspect is Christmas. And it is then when the so called “Sourvakari” make the round of houses with wishes for health and prosperity. Sourvakari are boys going from house to house, wishing people a Happy New Year by slapping them ritually on the back with an ornamented twig for health and prosperity.
Traditions in Bulgaria say that at midnight on Christmas Eve carolers (sourvakari) start their round. They visit the houses of their relatives, neighbours and other people in the village. Carole- singers are usually boys aged 8 to 12. Each caroler carries a cornel stick called sourovachka with which every one of them pat the back of their parents, grandparents, friends wishing them health, wealth and happiness. It is believed that the patting will make all the wishes come true during the next year and will make sure the approaching New Year will be fruitful. The survachka is ornamented with little balls made of cotton, strings of popcorn, raisin, dried apple slices, dried peppers etc. The hostess had prepared (early in the morning) ring-shaped cakes and when the carolers come she gives them some of these cakes along with dried pears, plums, apples, gapes, and walnuts.