NEW YEAR TIDE
The custom New Year Tide (Surva, Survaki) begins with the first hours of the New Year. Sourvakari enter each house in groups of young boys – children or older, bachelors-sourvakari. All of them hold the obligatory raw, newly cut cornel-tree sticks, decorated with coins, pop corn, dried fruits and red wool threads. Together with the survaki the boys pronounce blessings for each member of the family, beginning with the eldest one.
Babinden is one of the greatest women’s folk celebrations, dedicated to babuvane – the activity of the women, who assisted brides and young wives with the delivery of babies. Ritualism throughout the whole day is associated mainly with the desire of attesting respect and esteem to the elderly women, who assisted the young mothers in childbirth.
LAZARKI DAY (LAZARUVANE)
For many years, young girls from Nisovo have been gathering in the local community home on this day, to practice the ritual of Lazaritsa, filling the village with their songs all day long. They are dressed in traditional folklore costumes, and as they go round the houses, they sing ritual Lazarki songs and bless for health, happiness and abundance.
Young women pick flowers for the wreaths they are going to make on Palm Sunday.
The custom Koleduvane begins on Christmas Eve. Only men take part in it – bachelors, fiancés and younger recently married men. They wear traditional holiday clothes and fur caps decorated with green bunches, holding multi-coloured sticks in their hands. They visit homes in groups, always starting in eastern direction. The first house to be visited is the one of the most prominent person in the village — the mayor’s, the priest’s or the teacher’s. They sing songs glorifying the owners and wishing good. The owners invite the young men at the table and treat them with brandy and wine, and then the damsel presents them with a ring-shaped bun.