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The Bulgarian Festival Calendar

 

Anastasiyovden

 Saint Anastasia’s Day

 December 22

 

   The Name day of everyone named Anastasia, Asya, Natasha.
Saint Anastasia was a Roman lady of noble descent. Her father was an opulent and noble pagan; but her mother, who was a Christian, caused her to be baptized in her infancy, and secretly reared her in sentiments of Christian piety, in which she made great progress.
    Saint Anastasia had been married to a noble Roman, named Publius, who was a pagan; he loved his wife much, but having discovered her acts of piety, and that she was a Christian, from a loving husband he became a cruel tyrant, confined her to the house, and treated her like a slave. The saint, rejoiced that she could suffer for the love of Jesus Christ.

           On this day Bulgarians honour Nastasya the Deadly, a mythological personification of death. Old people say that if Nastasya gets angry “she will make the houses black”. That is why on this day women are careful not to make her angry and don’t do housework.
   They make breads of wheat, cover them with honey and give them out to the neighbours to commemorate the deceased and to protect against the plague.

 

Nastasya the Deadly - Plague

 

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