Vasilica – the Roma New Year and the “Let’s restore the bridges between us” campaign: what will happen and where?

With events in Sofia and throughout the country, the Amalipe Center and hundreds of schools, educational mediators and youth groups for tolerance and civic participation will celebrate the Vasilitsa holiday, also called the “Roma New Year”. They will be greeted by the ambassadors of the USA, France, Germany, Great Britain, and other European countries, the ministers of education, health, labor and social policy, deputy prime ministers, the presidents of the National Assembly, and people’s representatives, as well as by mayors, regional governors and other institutions.

Sofia events:

On January 12, 2023:

  • Embassy of the Netherlands – from 2:00 p.m.;
  • Ministry of Culture – from 3:15 p.m.;
  • Trust for Social Alternative – from 3:30 p.m.

On January 13, 2023:

  • Embassy of Great Britain in Bulgaria – from 10:00 a.m.;
  • Representation of UNICEF in Bulgaria – from 10:00 a.m.;
  • Embassy of France in Bulgaria – from 10:00 a.m.;
  • Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria – from 10:00 a.m.;
  • US Embassy in Bulgaria – from 11:00 a.m.;
  • Ministry of Labor and Social Policy – from 11:00 a.m.;
  • Embassy of Poland in Bulgaria – from 11:00 a.m.;
  • IA PO – from 11:00 a.m.;
  • Union of Bulgarian teachers – from 11:00 a.m.;
  • Ministry of Education and Science – from 11:00 a.m.;
  • Embassy of Spain in Bulgaria – from 12:00 p.m.;
  • Embassy of India in Bulgaria – from 12:30 p.m.;
  • Embassy of Ireland in Bulgaria – from 12:30 p.m.;
  • National Assembly – from 13:00;
  • TSOIDUEM – from 1:30 p.m.;
  • Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria – from 1:30 p.m.;
  • World Bank in Bulgaria – from 1:30 p.m.;
  • Hungarian Cultural Institute – from 14:00;
  • Education Committee – from 2:00 p.m.;
  • Embassy of Austria in Bulgaria – from 14:00;
  • Embassy of Denmark in Bulgaria – from 2:00 p.m.;
  • Embassy of Belgium in Bulgaria – from 15:00;
  • Ministry of Health – from 15:00;
  • Minister Pekanov – from 3:30 p.m.


Events in the country:

  • “Saint Cyril and Methodius” Elementary School – Cherna gora – Survakane at school and at the local town hall
  • First elementary school “St. Paisiy Hilendarski” – Galabovo – Celebration at school with parents
  • “St. Paisii Hilendarski” Elementary School – Hadjidimitrovo – Celebration at school with parents
  • OU “Pop Mincho” – Kolarovo – Celebration at school with parents
  • First Elementary School “St. Kliment Ohridski” – Radnevo – Celebration at school with parents
  • Elementary School “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” – Sarnevo – Celebration at school with parents
  • OU “Hristo Botev” – Hrischeni – Celebration at school with parents
  • “Hristo Botev” Elementary School – Maglizh – Celebration at school with parents and filming of a video about Vasilitsa
  • OU “Vasil Levski” – Gorno Sahrane – Survakane in school and in the local town hall
  • OU”St. St. Cyril and Methodius” – Shipka – Celebration at school with parents
    OU “Hristo Botev” – Mokren – Celebration at school with parents
  • OU “Captain Petar Parmakov” – Gradets – Representatives in Sofia and celebration at school
  • Elementary School “St. Kliment Ohridski” – Blatec – Celebration at school with parents
  • “Hristo Botev” Elementary School – Samuilovo – Celebration at school with parents and celebration at the local town hall
  • Saint Paisii Hilendarski Elementary School – Sotirya – Celebration at school with parents
  • SU “G. Karavelov” – Shivachevo – Celebration at school with parents
  • OU “Nikola Prokopiev” – Sborishte – Celebration at school with parents
  • “Ivan Vazov” Elementary School – Simeonovgrad – Celebration at school with parents
  • PGOD Eurydika – Kardzhali – Celebration at school with parents Celebration at school
  • NU “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” – Borets – Celebration at school
  • “Hristo G. Danov” Elementary School – Rozino – Celebration at school
  • “Hristo Smirnenski” Primary School – Novo Selo – celebration at school
  • Saint Cyril and Methodius Elementary School – Cheshnegirovo – Celebration at school
  • SU “Vasil Levski” – Manole – Celebration at school
  • Smolnitsa – Elementary School “Kliment Ohridski” village of Smolnitsa, commune. Dobrichka joined the “Let’s restore the bridges between us” campaign. The students from the School Parliament told the legend of Bango Vasil, when Vasilitsa is celebrated, what are the customs in Roma families the night before the holiday – not to go out in the yard, the house should be locked, there should be a fortune pie prepared by the oldest woman in the family, to be silent while walking, etc. On 13.01.2023, the oldest woman from school will show how to make a fortune pie. The younger students will be making cheese cakes that they made themselves and will wish everyone life, health, luck and success in the new year
  • Ravna Gora – Students, under the guidance of their teachers, will visit the local town hall, community center and businesses, as well as passers-by, to call for health and prosperity – “survakane”. Discussion of similarities of the ritual with other peoples.
  • Preselentsi – The students from the “Vasil Levski” elementary school in the village of Preselentsi will celebrate Vasilitsa by beating mayors and deputy mayors in the villages from which the students come. A group of survakars will be present at the pensioner’s club, and this event will be at a later stage/ we will combine Babin din/old style/ and Vasilitsa/. After the events, we will send photographic material.
  • Pchelnik – Pupils and teachers from “Hristo Botev” elementary school, Pchelnik village, will participate in the “Let’s rebuild the bridges between us” campaign, organized by the “AMALIPE” CMEDT. Students from grades I-IV will watch and discuss Romani fairy tales – “The Three Woodmen”, “The Good Rum”, “Opak Sultan”, and students from grades V-VI will make a comparison between the peoples of the Earth and the flowers in a garden after reading the Roma fairy tale “Garden of Nations”. Students of the 7th grade will get to know the holidays and customs of the Roma community, they will listen to popular Roma songs. Some of the students will share how they celebrate the Roma New Year at home. Students of the VI and VII grades will participate in the game “Roma’s Wealth”.
  • Kardam – In “Hristo Botev” elementary school, Kardam village, General Toshevo municipality, Dobrich region, we will celebrate the Roma New Year (Bango Vasil) by making sourvakniki together with sixth and seventh grade students. We will prepare a short performance, with which we will congratulate the mayor of the village of Kardam and the team of the People’s Community Center “Probuda – 1941”.
  • Hitovo – the students of the “Vasil Levski” Primary School in the village of Hitovo, third and fourth grades will celebrate Vasilitsa with a dramatization of the Roma folk tale “The Good Rum” and a performance of the song “Wonderful Forest Flower”.
  • Sredishte – On 13.01.2023, we will congratulate the Head of the Silistra RUO and then the mayor of the municipality of Kaynardzha.
  • Glavinitsa – Discussion with students about ethnic holidays. What do they symbolize? What is the common The legends of Bango Vasil and the lame shepherd.
  • OU – Tsenovo – Presentation on the customs of the Roma New Year and a discussion on the topic with the students of the Central Secondary School and their parents.
  • SU “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” Smyadovo – students – survakars will survak the municipal administration.
  • PGSS Shumen – students will reenact the holiday – with a table with the traditional dishes for the holiday.
  • PGTOHVT Shumen – students and teachers will inform everyone about the holiday, listen to traditional Bango Vasil songs and dance Romani dances.

Lovech region

  • Secondary school “Vasil Levski” – town of Yablanitsa, students from the primary stage will perform a reenactment of the fairy tale “Poor Rum”, as well as take part in a drawing competition organized by the Student Council on the theme “Vasilitsa in my home”. All drawings will be displayed in the ethnographic corner located in the lobby. The dance group will present a short artistic program during the big break, and on the video wall all students will be able to participate in the game “Roma’s Wealth”. A representative group will also participate in the organized visit to institutions and embassies on January 13, and they will have the opportunity to present, in addition to their musical greeting, dishes typical of the Roma table prepared by the students studying the “Cookery” specialty.
    Hristo Botev Primary School – Rumyantsevo village, St. St. Cyril and Methodius” – town of Lovech and NU ” Eng. G. Valkov” – town of Lukovit traditionally the celebration of the Roma holiday is with various school initiatives in which students and parents participate. This year’s activities also include a knowledge competition, and the electronic resources for the Amalipe Center will be used to promote the history, life and traditions of the Roma ethnic group. In the Lukovit school, the students of the Folklore of the Ethnicities – Roma Folklore, headed by P. Mancheva, will recreate the tradition of Vasilitsa – a holiday associated with the hope that the New Year will bring more happiness, health, luck and wealth to people.
  • “Bacho Kiro” Secondary School – town of Letnitsa will organize a culinary exhibition with dishes based on traditional recipes of the local ethnic groups, in which high school culinary students will participate.

Vratsa region

  • Parents and students of the schools of the “Amalipe” network in the municipality of Byala Slatina – OU “G.S. Rakovski” – village of Turnak, elementary school “Hristo Botev” – village of Tarnava, secondary school “Hristo Botev” – village of Galiche, NU “Hristo Smirnenski” – town of Byala Slatina, PGO “El. Bagryana” – town of Byala Slatina and SU ” Hristo Botev” – village of Gabare continue their long-standing tradition of celebrating the holiday by visiting the homes of hospitable owners. Survakar groups call for health and prosperity, offer handmade souvenirs and enjoy the delicious dishes prepared for Vasilitsa. Representative groups from the schools in the village of Turnak, the town of Byala Slatina and the village of Gabare will once again participate in the organized visit to institutions and embassies on January 13.
  • Students from ObU “St. Cl. Ohridski” – Tishevitsa village, “Hristo Botev” OBU” – Banitsa village, “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” – the village of Devene and ObU “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” – the village of Kravoder will visit local institutions and with a Survakar greeting they will present their wonderful names for health, full meals and a successful year. The groups will be accompanied by the educational mediators who, together with students and parents, have made not only the cheeses, but also the dishes that will be served.
    The initiatives to mark the holiday will also include “Hristo Botev” SU – Butan village, “Ivan Vazov” SU – Mezdra, PG “Aleko Konstantinov” – Mezdra, NU “P.R. Slaveykov” – town Roman and the newest school in the Amalipe school network, the school in the village of Mihailovo. Through “History, Life, Culture and Traditions”, household items of the local ethnic groups will be exhibited, and through a culinary exhibition of a competitive nature, it will be possible to try dishes prepared by the skillful hands of children and parents. The festive day will also be celebrated with a concert, which will include singing and dancing groups, as well as with a dramatization of the Red Horse.
  • The initiatives in the “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” – Malorad village and “Otets Paisii” OU – Borovan village are organized by the “Folklore of ethnic groups” groups and include a rich program of contests: for thematic drawing; for making souvenirs from clay and plasticine; for making cheeses, as well as for making fortune pie. Representative groups will greet local institutions.
  • “N.Y. Vaptsarov” Elementary School – Selanovtsi village will celebrate Vasilitsa on January 16 under the title “Bread is One”, with an initiative funded by COIDUEM.

Montana region

  • First Primary School “Vasil Levski” – town of Valchedrum, Second Primary School “Ivan Vazov” – town of Valchedrum, Secondary School “Hristo Botev” – village of Dolni Tsibar, Primary School “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” – the village of Kovachitsa, PGSS “Danube land” – the village of Kovachitsa. The beginning of the initiatives is already from the first day of the week, namely: preparation of a festive program with a reenactment of the legend of Bango Vasil, songs, dances and a contest of expressive citation of “Vasilitsa”. The youngest graduates of the schools organize a thematic exhibition that presents the richness of the custom in the Roma home to welcome the new year. Traditionally, a Roma house is also visited, where the owners hospitably open the doors and welcome the guests to call for health, for rich meals, for rich blessings for the whole family. The skillful hands of the students from the profiled classes in the village of D. Tsibar will put together a culinary exhibition, which includes the presentation of ritual breads, pies and local products. A “Miss and Mr. Vasilitsa” competition has also been organized, in which school graduates from Valchedrum schools will have the opportunity to parade in front of their peers.
  • In PGLP – town of Montana, Second Secondary School “N.Y. Vaptsarov” – town of Montana, Third Primary School “Ivan Vazov” – town of Berkovitsa, Secondary School “Hristo Botev” – town of Brusartsi,
  • Secondary School “Otets Paisiy” – village Medkovets commemoration of Vasilitsa will be through the use of Amalipe’s electronic resources, namely: electronic lessons on the topic and the game “Roma’s Wealth”. In Class Time, the topic was also dedicated to the holiday, to the traditions that are observed in the homes of Roma families, to the meaning that is put into the pronunciation of Survakar names. Representative groups will visit institutions to make their wishes known.
  • In the 4th elementary school “G.S. Rakovski” – town of Berkovitsa and the 4th elementary school “Hristo Botev” – town of Lom, the festive day was celebrated with many dances, songs and rich meals with dishes typical for the Roma family.

Pleven Region

  • Survakari from St. Cl. Ohridski” – village of Bukovlak and OU “A. Strashimirov” – village of Bohot will wish blessings to the oldest residents of the villages in the pensioner clubs, as well as in the local administrations. The graduates of the schools have prepared a musical program and made cards that they will present with wishes for health and longevity.
  • Competitions “Best reader of a Romany fairy tale” – for primary school students “Best dancer of a Romany dance” – students from all classes, cheese making and a competition for the tastiest pie are part of the events planned at ObU. St. St. Cyril and Methodius” – village of Tarnene, OU “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” – Yasen village, Hristo Botev primary school – Asenovtsi village and Neofit Rilski primary school – Gradina village. With the help of the educational mediators, visits to the homes of Roma families will be organized to offer greetings and calls for family well-being.
  • In the school corridors and foyers of Otets Paisiy Secondary School – Radomirtsi village, Hristo Botev Primary School – Ruptsi village and Hristo Smirnenski Secondary School – Koinare town there is an exhibition of survakniki and cards made by students. The best will be awarded with subject prizes provided by the schools’ management. For another year, representatives of the local community will visit schools and share interesting information about the celebration of this holiday.
  • In Hristo Smirnenski High School – Gulyantsi, Vasilitsa is celebrated with a musical-artistic program, which includes dance and singing ensembles from all classes. A representative group will participate for another year in the campaign of the Amalipe Center and will visit the World Bank office in Sofia.

On January 16, 2023:

  • Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo – 10:00 a.m.;
  • Regional governor of the Veliko Tarnovo region – 10:00 a.m.;
  • OD of the Ministry of the Interior – Veliko Tarnovo – 11:00 a.m.;
  • RUO – Veliko Tarnovo – 11:30 a.m

Vasilica, also known as “Bango Vasil” and “Roma New Year”, is a calendar holiday that part of the Roma in Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula celebrate on January 13, 14, 15. Its celebration is connected with many legends, the most popular of which tells that the devil destroyed the bridge on which the Roma were passing, but St. Vasil restored the bridge and thus saved the Roma. More about the legends related to the Vasilica holiday and how it is celebrated by different Roma groups in a family environment, see HERE

Since 2010 Amalipe center, schools from the “Every student will be excellent” network, educational mediators and youth groups organize public events throughout the country under the title “Let’s rebuild the bridges between us”. Why we organize this campaign and what we want to achieve with it, see HERE

For more information: Phone: 0882540242