BULGARIA

Koledari

The Christmas carol-singers or waits Koledari follow a pattern, which is generally observed nationwide. The Koledars are young men who go from door to door and sing songs for health and prosperity for the house. They start at midnight, and go around all the houses in the village. When they visit a home, they sing for every of the inhabitants, then for fruitfulness. They take the pretzels, sing some more ritual songs and proceed to the next house. There are variations in the carols' melody and lyrics. In some regions the waits do not sing - they only dance during their village tour. Older men know local Christmas rituals best. In their youth tradition was fully intact. Thanks to their generations the memory of Christmas rites saw a revival in the second half of 20th century. Now old men hand tradition down to the young.