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Bulgaria - Other

Christmas in Bulgaria

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Christmas in Bulgaria

Postby travelling scot » Sun 28 Nov 2004 08:18 GMT

This is in reply to a PM,but it may be of interest to others.
For many people here,Xmas is not a time to relax and be with their families as they have to work.This happens everywhere of course,with emergency services etc doing their jobs,but the difference here is that many shops are open despite little if any sales.The staff,usually female, often have no choice as labour laws are not enforced.I was here last Xmas and spoke to many ladies who were working in shops selling clothing,shoes etc,until perhaps 6 or 7 pm,when they would go home to their families. Many of them had children that they could not share most of the day with-the attitude of many employers is that if it is the turn of that member of staff to work that day,then the shop will be open,at the same rate of pay as any other day and no extra days off.
For us foreigners it gives us something to do and somewhere to go of course,with even markets selling fruit and veg ( Limited selection) working part of the day.It really reminded me of something from a Charles Dickens novel.
Greetings card shops do not exist in the way we have in UK(Business opportunity for someone?),perhaps partly because of the unreliable postal service,where mail might never be seen again after posting,especially if it has interesting stamps on it!Many small shops sell gifts and packaging with a few cards,so Xmas is a big event despite the communist years,and official decorations are in evidence around the streets from late November.
Some businesses close down for a week or two like UK,but they are the exception.New Year is a bigger event,with official fireworks and lots of parties in homes,bars and clubs.
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Postby bgvisit » Mon 3 Oct 2005 20:35 GMT

Hi Traveling scot!
For good or evil the X-mas is no so big holiday in Bulgaria like New Year coming (it is heritage from Communistic era) and it is no so hard to somebody to work this day but in most cases there are return for this (extra money or extra non working days)!!! The days around X-mass and New Year are most powerful for all small dealers and it is reasonable for them to work then (especially if their business flow very slow in other days)
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Postby Quest Bulgaria » Thu 6 Oct 2005 16:08 GMT

Hi bgvisit

I agree with you entirely, many of us work Christmas and New Year here (us included!)

Actually we moved here from France and found pretty much the same thing there as here - despite communism, etc. In France we had Christmas Day as a holiday but many commercants worked the day selling bread, fish, flowers, meat, and other likely things wanted for Christmas period. England is lucky having Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day as holiday period and most making the bridge from Christmas through to New Year!!! Also, again in France only New Years Day was declared a holiday but most still worked it anyway as this was their best time to make a living.

We are just the same and work pretty much all through the holidays as we have to. We are a small business and need to make the most of our work time and cannot rely on other staff to cover times like this. All businesses work when they can make the best monies, that is normal

As an aside, even on lots of so called national holidays in Britain you will find the usual supermarkets, chain stores, diy stores and more all open for pretty much 12 hours that day, because it is their best opportunity to make money - and a lot of people employed under the legal national wage or for far more hours than they should work - so 'what's the difference'?

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Postby Miken » Fri 16 Nov 2007 20:45 GMT

They make up for christmas by celebrating the new year here. They also have many other holidays throughout the year. If they can they take time off for birthday, name days, and all the national holidays. The Bgs certainly know how to celebrate in style and usually late into the night!

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christmas in bulgaria

Postby frenchman » Thu 6 Dec 2007 12:34 GMT

actually, i have noticed and bulgarian people explained me that christmas has never been a great party in bulgarian culture from communism, new year day is the most important.

Christmas is celebrated the 25th december from only few years, as before the christians orthodoxes used to celebrate it the 7th of january i think but changed it few time ago (the christian orthodoxe calendar was diferent and is still different in Russia or Serbia for example where christmas is the 7th of january)

To sum up, christmas the 25th of december is very recent and lightly celebrated in Bulgaria. So let's enjoy the late opened shops.
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Postby krysia » Sat 22 Dec 2007 11:35 GMT

happy christmas and new year all
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