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A holiday message is coded in “Grandma’s Recipes” children’s painting contest

Penyo Ivanov: Nothing can quench peoples’ thirst for life

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Photo: facebook/receptitenabababg

Bright Week, also known as Pascha Week or Renewal Week begins today. The days after Easter bring enlightement and hope for eternal life. The Church glorifies the Holy Apostles and the Holy Theotokos and it is time for home celebrations at home. Traditionally, people shall not work during the Bright Week.

On Easter Monday, every Bulgarian home fills with the euphoria of the feast and the enjoyment of the Easter cakes (kozunak) and dyed eggs. In Some Bulgarian regions the day after Easter Sunday is called “Razturni” Monday. It is associated with a tradition in Gabrovo and Kazanlak regions where young girls and boys perform a ritual as protection from hail and for fertility. They go to a meadow, form two groups and start rolling red eggs towards each other.


Local traditions are preserved at home and within the family and then at school and the community center. More and more people are realizing the role of customs and folklore in communicating with children and their upbringing. “Neither the coronavirus pandemic, nor any topical political issues can prevent us from preserving the Bulgarian spirit and traditions and have hope for a better tomorrow”, said Penyo Ivanov. He has been organizing the culinary festival “Colorful Table” in dozens of Bulgarian towns and villages for more than 10 years. Penyo also organizes a children’s drawing competition themed “Grandma’s Recipes”. Every Bulgarian is a guardian of traditions. Family traditions are passed down from a generation to generation for centuries, said Penyo Ivanov and called this year’s edition of the competition a “miracle”, because he had received hundreds of letters from Bulgarian children:


“We are grateful to many Bulgarian municipalities, schools, community centers, kindergartens and clubs for organizing the event despite the difficulties amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the distance learning. More than 2,000 people are participating at this year’s edition of the competition, which proves that no one and nothing can quench our thirst for life.”


Children’s drawings abound with round egg and cheese pastries, festive pita bread and… homemade tomato and pepper relish (lyutenitsa), slowly cooked on the hearth during the autumn. “Grandma’s meals are more than a tasty food. They are a scent of childhood, a memory of games and shared secrets. The paintings which are part of this year’s edition of the competition “Grandma’s Recipes” depict these emotions”, said Penyo Ivanov and added:

“I am glad that in their paintings children show details they have noticed while visiting the country houses. We see ornaments of embroidery, woven rugs, traditional ceramic pots, etc. Most paintings recreate the colors and the atmosphere of the country house. Whether children make the best painting or not, they come up with original ideas and spend some time thinking about the local traditions”.


English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Photos: facebook/receptitenabababg

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