Førkristne tradisjoner i bulgarsk folkeliv: Transformasjon og opptak i den kristne tro
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This paperwork explores the pre-christian traditions and folk customs in modern day Bulgarian folk life. The goal has been to discover how these traditions and customs have survived the coming of Christianity, and how they have been transformed into Christian customs. Bulgaria has a rich cultural heritage, thanks to the three main groups of people who have inhabited the Bulgarian lands –the thracians, the proto bulgars and the slavs. Traces of their pagan beliefs and ritual practices are possible to find in modern day folklore and folk life in Bulgaria. Most of the customs are to be found in the agricultural sphere, a sphere not so much affected by modernization, thus holding on to a worldview influenced by mythological and supernatural beliefs. The Bulgarian folk calendar is divided in two, marking the beginning and the end of the agricultural year. Most of the customs, practices and rituals are directed and performed to ensure the health and fertility of fields, farm animals and people. One of the most distinctive pagan practice, animal sacrifice - kurban, is still a very important element in the Bulgarian folk life. It is performed at Christmas, Atanasovden, the feast day of St. Constantine and St. Helen, and on Gergiovden. There are also other types of sacrifice, like pouring wine or throw corns and beans into the ground to ensure the earths fertility and rich harvest. A fish kurban is made on the feast day of St. Nicholas, patron saint of all sailors and fishermen, master of the waters. The saints play a significant role in Bulgarian religious traditions. They are the main bearers of the ancient and pagan heritage, because many of them have inherited the properties and attributes of the old deities. People worshipped and sacrifices to the old gods to gain their good will and protection, and after the introduction of Christianity, the saint became those who people turned to for protection.