The bonding of every nation is tradition. The intangible heritage of community lives in its periodic "realization" through various complexes of customs and rituals that are passed down from generation to generation. Without continuity, one cannot speak of tradition, but at the same time it must be remembered that it is behind it man's folklore thinking. For folk, the set of beliefs and rituals functions as an explanation of the world and its place in it. When ritual actions and names, legends and legends cease to be a source of knowledge and self-knowledge, a value regulator, a source of hope and hope, they lose their sacredness, and their existence within modern society can be seen as a restoration of tradition. .

Our knowledge of these traditional practices however, they are usually exhausted by the superficial reading of the characters embedded in them, and their origin remains unknown. Over time, their varieties diverge from their original nature and live a separate life, and the reconstruction of primary structures is often difficult because they are, in essence, the fruit of oral culture.

The roots of the carnival tradition can be found in the festivities of the ancient Greek mysteries, which, in turn, may have been introduced by Thracian culture. They are associated with performing fertility rituals and age initiation, focusing on the rituals of transition - wedding and birth. Life and death, existence in the present, and transcendental being in the world beyond, are symbolically recreated to counteract it. And behind their confrontation, we find the desire to synthesize the lived here and the unknown there, to overcome the boundaries between the worlds. When the mythological man seeks communion with nature, he dresses her in the images of gods who bear her various features (Demetra and Dionysus, the feminine and the masculine origin).

This desired merger, both human and divine from pre-Christian times, is also transmitted to the Middle Ages, paradoxically known for its theocentric organization. Ancient Saturnalia, Jung argues, has been transformed into strange church customs dating from the Early Middle Ages in Europe. Performed around the New Year with songs and dances, they were originally characteristic of lower-ranking priests. They included the children and the deacons, and then a "bishop of the children" was elected. Dressed in bishop's attire, he visited the archbishop's palace and pronounced a blessing. The act of disguise, masking is heavily sign-loaded. It serves as a generator of meaning even in ancient Greek holiday rituals, a fertile ground for the development of drama. Masking helps to consolidate the community with its various social strata - during the ritual all its members are equal because they are confronted with a higher task. They must "absorb" the divine, they witness the "re-creation" of the world, for which they are also responsible.

Jung notes that in some places the priests themselves kept on The Saturnalia (feasts in honor of the god Saturn in Rome in the second half of December), during which supremacy took over the previous state of consciousness - the pagan, with its barbaric primacy. In France, a "donkey feast" was celebrated, in some regions the procession entering the church and the liturgy was followed by a squeal at the end of each section. From antiquity, the image of the donkey has been associated with greed and laziness, lust, stubbornness, stupidity, but at the same time, there has been a tendency in popular beliefs for the donkey to identify with Christ. In some places, participants dressed in holiday clothes (like Christmas) and covered the donkey with a gold blanket, the ends of which the selected canons should hold.

This symbolic intertwining, which from our perspective reminds even of blasphemy, is not an isolated event. The pre-Christian stratum can also be found in the basis of Bulgarian holidays related to the celebration of saints. Folk beliefs are projected on the images of the saints, which turns them into cultural heroes, figures connecting two different ideological codes. Believers from the old mythological system build on their religious beliefs, and thus they acquire a complex and contradictory range of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic traits, begin to inspire fear, and are rethought as patrons of different spheres of everyday life. An example of a saint who is born with the demonic in folklore thinking is St. Todor - he is credited with vampiric and thalassic traits, associated with the space of the cemetery.

Among this complex of important for the folklore culture spring holidays, to which Todorovden belongs, stands out Kukerivden (in Eastern Bulgaria and Thrace). Carnival holidays are traditionally square. In the procession of Cookery day young boys participate. They are masked in various ways - such as grandmother, old man, groom, bride, bride, bear, bear, king, queen, pop, doctor and others. Most of the boys involved are black-faced and upside-down, wearing "weapons". Men's masks consist of feathers, glasses and beads, sometimes with two or three buffalo horns. Kukers hang bells, carry a baby and hookah. Here, too, the figure of the donkey is present, but this time in the form of a scarecrow leading the procession (sometimes a horse or camel). Kukers are touring homes and performing scenes related to fertility and the rebirth of nature.

In a semiotic aspect, the community is experiencing a world being created here and now, similar to the ancient holiday community. Predestined men play the role of mediators coming from another world, a world of chaos that should help transform it into space. Therefore, the codes of daily living in the carnival community are overturned and the profane is rethought as sacred, thus playing out the existence in the chaos that must be overcome through ritual. The mask is the key form through which this mediation is carried out - in sign language it is associated with a changed identity that allows a person to participate in order building. However, man is more than a participant in the act of constructing reality; he becomes a trickster by means of a mask that enables him to "outwit" the ruling powers, gaining a higher-order status through which to secure the welfare of the social group.


Nikov, I., Georgiev, D., Ginev, A. Ancient literature. 2011

Papuchiev, N.. Cultural Anthropology: Word, rite, custom. S., 2016

Jung, K.. Archetypes and the collective unconscious. P., 2016

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