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winter traditions: february: Saint Vlasi - 11th of February

     Mooning day - It is celebrated in honor of draught animals (the oxen, the cattle). Early in the morning of the holiday the women knead dough and bake ritual boats of bread. In the North-Western parts of Bulgaria they usually bake two sorts of bread - st.Petka and st.Vlas. Petka is decorated with a cross and five flowers, and Vlas is a loaf on all sides of which they put four flowers and between the flowers they put a bow. The ritual loafs of bread incensed in the cattle-shed with the oxen and then the women give the first one to the neighbours and the second one they put in the forage of the oxen. While the women prepare the bread and the ring-shaped bun, the men sweep the cattle-shed, comb the oxen and take them to water. Before they set out for the river, the mistress takes out the bakes loafs and bread and fixes them on the horns of the cattle. This is done for the health of the oxen so that (they don't suffer from) the disease "vlas" (disease on the stomach and the guts). When the bread-giving takes place people usually kick each other, prick each other with their heads and start mooing - that is where the other name of the holiday comes from- Mooing day. While the oxen are drinking water, the master of the house dips the ring-shaped buns in the river , breaks them into pieces and gives them to the animals and the other men gathered by the river as well as to any men met on the way back home.
     In the North-West of Bulgaria people usually "cut the vlas" - they strike with an axe while mooing.
     On Vlas's day women don't spin so that "vlas doesn't come" to their eyes neither do they knead. Men don't put the oxen to the yoke, because it is believed that even if girded with belts the ox ungirds itself. This holiday is observed also by the shepherds so that no sheep with rough wool are born.
     In Central Bulgaria it is also celebrated for the crop fields so that the wheat-ears won't grow empty.

     Church Holiday: Saint Vlasi Sevastiiski slew in 312.