New Year in Bulgaria
Some of the rituals on bulgarian New Year’s Day are mainly practised in the countryside of Bulgaria. It is a New Year's custom, expressing young girls' eagerness to get married and enjoy a happy family life. Ladouvane is a maidens' rite performed on the day before New Year only in Western Bulgaria, the Central Balkan Range and in some regions along the Danube River. In the rest of the country, it is celebrated on Midsummer Day. Preparations would start early in the morning. All lasses in the village would drop their rings, as well as oats and barley, the symbols of fertility, into a caldron full of spring water, all the rings fastened with a red thread to a bunch of perennial plants, such as ivy, crane's bill, or basil. The cauldron was left overnight in the open, under the stars, and on New Year's Eve, following a ritual dance around it, the girls' fortunes were told.
In Bulgaria bells also ring in the new year. A traditional Bulgarian New Year's dish banitza which is a flaky cheese pie. People usually gather together and celebrate the forthcoming new year. During the communism in Bulgaria there was Diado Mraz, which is the Bulgarian equivalent of Santa Claus. Today Dyado Mraz is no longer called so, because the communist regime does not exist any more. So now Dyado Mraz is renamed to Dyado Koleda. Koleda is the Bulgarian name for Christmas.