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winter traditions: january: Petljovden (Rooster day) - January 20

     This holiday is celebrated mainly in the Eastern part of Bulgaria, in order to bring health to young boys. Ritual slaughtering of a rooster is executed. This is usually done on the threshold of the yard door. It is agood thing if the blood spreads onto the door and the surrounding area. A cross sign is made on the faces of the boys and the youngsters that slaughter the rooster with the blood of the bird. The head of the rooster is left in front of the door and thr rooster itself is boiled. Typical bread and flat loaves are also prepared and given away to the neighbors.
     The slaughtering of the rooster is connected to the legend of king Irod, who orders to decapitate all male children because he wants to see Christ dead. In the Plovdiv region the holiday is also known as the Black day. In that region people observe different restrictions- women are not allowed to do any work, people should not get married if they don't want to mourn for a dead man. The holiday ends quite like Grandmother's day.