On New Year’s day Bulgarians celebrate Vassilyovden (Saint Basil’s day) by carrying a beautifully decorated cornel twig called a“sourvachka”, and tapping everyone they meet with it to wish them health and good luck for the New Year.

People in masks and head to toe, animal like costumes (called Sourvakari, Kukeri or Djamali), dance around the village and visit homes to give ritual blessings for health and fertility.

More on Vassilyovden (St Basil’s day) by Somewhere in the world today…

Picture: Kukeri by ludmila slokoski on Flickr