• English Translation

    Soroptimist International Ruse, Bulgaria

    Who we are

    We are the ladies from Soroptimist International Ruse club and we live in a beautiful country whose land proves to be the cradle of the oldest civilisation on Earth. Bulgaria has been on the map of Europe for more than 13 centuries, and although half of this time it was occupied, it has managed to preserve its name and its language. We are proud to have given the world one of its alphabets – the Cyrillic. Our town Ruse, on the River Danube, is the fifth largest in Bulgaria and is known as the little Vienna for its gorgeous architecture.

    We, the Soroptimists, like to help other women and children get better education, live healthy lives, be independent and assertive. Professionally, we come from different walks of life – some of us are teachers, others are nurses, accountants, public workers, beauticians, hairdressers, entrepreneurs with private businesses.

    Bread making is our hobby and Frau Carmen Stadelhofer is our inspiration. First we knitted the Danube with her and now we are making and sharing bread and cookies. Bread is the staple food of Bulgarians – we eat it with everything and at any time. When we expect dear guests at home, we make a festive bread to greet them and show them how honoured we are to have them. Every important event in our lives, every ritual involves making a special bread.

    It was such fun preparing the box for you! Besides the cookies, we put in some special things for you: The Christmas cards are made by the talented daughter- in-law of Daniela and the snowflakes are knit by Juli, who also made the special Christmas pretzels (see recipe and the tradition of Christmas carolling). The slippers from from Penka come all the way from the southern part of Bulgaria – the Rhodope Mountains. The bags of herbs come from Tsetska’s garden. She also made the popcorn and dried fruit strings for you, to illustrate the decoration of the carollers. Didi and Milena made the good luck wishes wrapped around a cornel twig. We put those on our New Year’s banitsa pieces– a special cheese, egg and philo dough bake, which we rotate on the table, so each family member can pick his luck. Svetlana made the coloured cookies and Mariana, Eli, Vili and Juli decorated the boxes. All the materials you read come from Milena, the President of the club for 2015-2017

    This Christmas season with our hearts open for you!

    May the brightness of these holidays bring joy to your heart,

    May love and luck be always around you,

    May the New Year be happier, more beautiful, more prosperous and filled with wonderful unforgettable moments

    and many dreams come true!

    Our Christmas package

    How we celebrate Christmas

    The tradition of koledarstvo (carolling)

    Koledarstvo (carolling) is an old tradition, which is still practised I many parts of Bulgaria. After the Christmas Eve dinner, which consists of meatless dishes only, everybody expects the coming of the carollers. In most cases they are young bachelors.

    The carollers start their preparation early – a day before winter solstice, on 20 December. In the Orthodox Church this day is celebrated ad the day of Ignatius of Antioch and it marks the beginning of Christmas activities. The carollers start learning the carols under the guidance of an older, married man. He becomes their leader and is called “stanenik”, after the title of one carol.

    The leader carries the ritual log – a branch with seven twigs, decorated with an apple, wrapped in shiny folio, Christmas pretzel, black threads and coins.

    The carollers are dressed in festive clothing. Their big woollen caps are adorned with flowers and strings of popcorn

    From midnight to sunrise the carollers go around the village and visit each house. They sing songs to every member of the family with wishes for health, happiness and prosperity. The hosts, in their turn, present the singers with a coin (often golden), beans, flour, meat and, of course, Christmas pretzels.

    Holding the Christmas pretzel, the leader of the group would bless the house with the words: "From God much health, from us some joy."

    Recipes Christmas cookies

    Koledni Kolacheta (Christmas Pretzels)


    • 2 eggs
    • 3 Table spoons sugar
    • 1 tea spoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 3 Table spoons plain yoghurt
    • 250 gr flour
    • salt
    • 1 egg yolk for spreading
    • Coarse sugar for sprinkling


    Knead soft dough with the eggs, beaten with the sugar, the yoghurt with the soda in it and the flour with a pinch of salt. Shape the dough into balls. Then roll each ball into thin round strips – 25 cm long and 1-1.5 cm thick. Make each strip into a circle, place them on a greased baking sheet, spread yolk on them and sprinkle them with sugar. Bake them until they turn rosy.

    The Christmas pretzels are the oldest and the most delicious symbols of the Christmas rite. They are called “kolacheta”, “kravaicheta” or simply “gevrecheta”.

    They often decorate the wood staffs, carried by the young lads when they walk from house to house and sing songs (carols) for health and prosperity.

  • Original Language

    Soroptimist International Ruse, Bulgaria

    Who we are

    Our Christmas package

    How we celebrate Christmas

    Традицията на коледарството

    Коледарството, макар и стара традиция, все още се практикува в доста части на България. След приключването на вечерята на Бъдни вечер, всички очакват идването на коледарите. В повечето случаи те са ергени.

    Подготовката на младите момци започва по-рано, още на Игнажден - 20 декември. Те учат коледарските песни под ръководството на по-възрастен, женен мъж. Той се счита за водач на групата и се нарича "станеник”.

    Водачът носи обредното дръвце - клон със седем разклонения, на който е забучена варакосана (увита с фолио) ябълка, колаче, черни конци и монети.

    Коледарите се обличат в празнично облекло. На калпаците си имат украса от цветя и нанизани пуканки.

    От полунощ чак до изгрев слънце те обикалят по къщите в селото. Пеят коледни песни на всеки член от семейството с пожелания за здраве, щастие и богата реколта. Домакините, от своя страна, ги даряват с пара, боб, брашно, месо, както и с коледарски краваи.

    Водачът на групата държал кравая в ръце и изричал коледарското послание:

    "От бога ти много здраве, от нас малка веселбица"

    Recipes Christmas cookies

    Коледни кравайчета

    • 2 бр. яйца
    • 3 с.л. захар
    • 1 ч.л. сода бикарбонат
    • 3 с.л. кисело мляко
    • 250 г брашно
    • сол
    • 1 бр. жълтък за намазване
    • едра захар за поръсване

    Начин на приготвяне

    Замесва се меко тесто от разбитите със захарта яйца, киселото мляко, с разтворената в него сода и брашното с малко сол. Оформят се топки. От тях се източват с ръце кръгли пръчки с дължина 25 см и дебелина 1-1.5 см. Навиват се на кравайчета, нареждат се в намаслена тава, намазват се отгоре с разбит жълтък и се поръсват със захар. Пекат се до порозовяване.

    Коледните колачета са един от най-старите и вкусни символи на коледарството. Те се наричат още кравайчета или просто гевречета.

    Най-често украсяват дървените тояги, а които момците обикалят за здраве и берекет.


  • Additional Translations

    Who we are

    Our Christmas package

    How we celebrate Christmas

    Recipes Christmas cookies