SAINT   NICHOLAS  DAY  /Nikulden/
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SAINT NICHOLAS DAY /Nikulden/ 6 DECEMBER. Saint Nicholas is the common name for Nicholas of Myra, a saint and Bishop of Myra. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker !.

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SAINT NICHOLAS DAY /Nikulden/

6 DECEMBER

  • Saint Nicholas is the common name for Nicholas of Myra, a saint and Bishop of Myra. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker !


  • Several stories tell of Nicholas and the sea.

  • Once, returning by sea, a mighty storm threatened to wreck the ship. Nicholas calmly prayed. The terrified sailors were amazed when the wind and waves suddenly calmed.

    And St. Nicholas became the patron of sailors and voyagers.



A modern metal icon of St. Nicholas by the Bulgarian artist Georgi Chapkanov -“Chapa”, depicting the patron saint of fishermen holding a fish

  • Nikulden,December 6th, is a great winter festival. Bulgarians celebrate St. Nicholas as the protector of sailors and fishermen. The autumn fishing season ends on Nikulden. The day's catch is to be offered to the Saint; fishermen eat the first caught fish right on the shore, before bringing the rest home.


Carp is the special food for the day, as legend tells how, when a ship was sinking because of a hole in the hull, St. Nicholas stuffed a live carp in the hole, saving the ship. The special fish dish, ribnik, is carp wrapped in dough or baked with rice. Ribnik is baked in the oven along with two special loaves of bread. Other meatless dishes are also served. The food is blessed at church or at home before being served. Carp is regarded as Nicholas' servant.


  • Af when a ship was sinking because of a hole in the hull, St. Nicholas stuffed a live carp in the hole, saving the ship. The special fish dish, ter wafting incense over the food, the host raises the bread high, and breaks itin two halves. One half is kept for the Saint.The cross-shaped crown bone from the fish head (the krahche) is also kept—it may beburied as a protection of the housefromevil.

  • Thefoodiskeptouton thetableall daytobesharedwithneighboursandotherguests. Itis agreatfestival daywhichendswithsongs andfun.

Bulgarian bread for Nikulden


  • The when a ship was sinking because of a hole in the hull, St. Nicholas stuffed a live carp in the hole, saving the ship. The special fish dish, bones of thecarp, according to tradition, aren’t thrown away – they’re burnt, buried in the ground or dropped in the river - thus, it is believed, the harvest and the family well-being will be multiplied.

  • The Saint Nicholas’ Day table includes, besides the ribnik and the ritual breads, some vegetariandishes: cooked corn, boiled wheat, meatless stuffed cabbage or vine leaves, peppers, haricot.


NIKULDEN when a ship was sinking because of a hole in the hull, St. Nicholas stuffed a live carp in the hole, saving the ship. The special fish dish, is the name day for everyone named Nikola, Nikolay, Kolyo, Nikolina, Neno, Nenka, Nikolina or Nina !


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