Bulgarians Celebrate Saint Nicholas Day

The Days of St Nicholas (Nikola), the patron of fisherman, sailors, merchants and bankers, is being marked nationwide by Orthodox Christians in Bulgaria on Sunday, December 06.

Known as Nikulden, it is also a special day for anyone named Nikolay, Nikola, Nikolina, Nikoleta, Neycho, Kolyo and many others - which means at least a couple of thousand Bulgarians. 

All (or most) of these normally use the occasion to invite family members, relatives, or friends to their home to have fish for lunch or dinner. Stuffed carp is considered to be the traditional choice; and the table has to be richly laid, given the Bulgarian custom that if someone is celebrating their name day, others may come to their home uninvited. 

Nikulden, however, is even a more special day in Bulgaria's annual festive calendar: in practice anyone may invite over lunch or dinner without bearing the name Nikoleta or Nikola.

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