On Christmas day all Christians and not only Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas has become a holiday celebrated with different and unique customs all around the world – all traditions are related to people’s beliefs and geographical conditions. As a part of Atlas Corps Fellowship, all fellows from around the world have the opportunity each year to celebrate Christmas as Americans in U.S. do.

As a fellow from Bulgaria, I will share few of our Christmas customs that are different and unique – we have so called “Budni vecher” (Бъдни вечер) on 24th of December. At this eve we have dinner having our family, friends and loved ones around. The name comes from Budnik meaning log which is brought in the home that night to be put into the fire (old tradition). I guess countries neighboring Bulgaria have similar customs and trends for Christmas eve.

At dinner we have at least 5 or more odd number plan16116-632x358t based dishes served on the table and leftover food remains there till the morning of Christmas. We also have similar to US carol singers in Bulgaria – koledari, a group of young men going to each house and singing.

The difference I found in the U.S. trend for Christmas celebrations are the famous red nose deer, leaving cookies and carrots for Santa and his deers. Everything else remains pretty much the same – gathering together with family, relatives, friends, people, giving presents and enjoyment. And, of course, this time is the most expected and magical period in the year for children.

On Christmas days this year I am pleased to say thanks to Julie Sherbill, part of Atlas Corps team and Sadia Ijaz, fellow from Class 18 for attending together with other fellows a daily Christmas mass in Washington, DC. Christmas is a good example to examine how to improve our lives to be a better persons and also highlights the importance to stay together and united. I hope everybody had amazing Christmas this holiday season and I wish you happy welcoming of the New year and successful 2016 !

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