Today is Bango Vasil - the Roma Celebrate the New Year

Society | January 14, 2022, Friday // 13:07
Bulgaria: Today is Bango Vasil - the Roma Celebrate the New Year

The Roma New Year is celebrated today. The holiday is also called Vasilitsa, Vasilyovden, or Bango Vasil/Vasiliy / the Limping Vasil.

The celebration of Vasilitsa is associated with several Roma legends. In some of them, Bango Vasiliy is an advocate and defender of the Roma. He rebuilt the bridge destroyed by the devil, which the Roma cross. In other legends, Bango Vasiliy is a limping shepherd who saves a drowning Roma child or shelters a gypsy fleeing from his enemies.

According to another legend, St. Vasiliy saved a gypsy family from drowning in the sea. The deep waters were about to engulf the Roma, but the white-haired saint sent them a flock of geese. The Roma climbed on them and reached the opposite shore unharmed. Since then, they have honored their savior on January 14 and named the holiday Vasilitsa in his honor.

Bango Vasil is a family holiday and must be celebrated with poultry - goose or rooster. In all Roma family groups, the dinner on January 13-14 plays an extremely important role and is filled with rich symbolism. On the table there is sarmi, banitsa, bread, wine, rakija. The table is incensed and blessed, everyone asks forgiveness by kissing hands.

All the houses where Bango Vasil is celebrated remain locked until midnight on January 13, so that luck does not escape. Only after the New Year do the Roma start welcoming guests, hoping that the first guest in their home will be a good person to bring them good luck.

Vasilyovden and the New Year come at midnight. From this moment the survakane begins.

Prime Minister Kiril Petkov congratulated the Roma community on today's holiday

Today is one of the most important days for the Roma community - Bango Vasil. On this day, I want to wish health, prosperity, and success to all Roma. This was written by Prime Minister Kiril Petkov on his Facebook profile, where he congratulated the Roma community on today's holiday.

"Let us work together, as we have over the centuries, for the prosperity of Bulgaria. We have stated that we will work for change. In order to achieve this change, it is important that all Bulgarian citizens, including the Roma community, support us and give our best. I use the occasion to declare that we will work in the interest of all, regardless of their ethnicity and religion, so that Bulgaria can take a worthy place among developed and democratic countries in Europe and the world," the Prime Minister wrote.

/Darik News, BTA

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Tags: Roma, New Year, Bango Vasil, vasiliy

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