Kolede/Vasilica (Old New Year)

Jan 07 2023

Kolede is a holiday connected with the Sun and the south meridians, and it means birth or regeneration of life. The word has Roman origin (kolede – slaughter, kole – child). During the time when Jesus Christ was sent as a messiah to spread Christianity and the faith, King Herod ordered all newly born baby boys to be slaughtered. From that day forward the Christians traditionally do the Kolede dances with the children every year on Holy Night, as a reminder of the great tragedy.


The celebration of St. Vasilie (Vasilica, Old New Year) coincides with the period of the unbaptized, evil days. From the Christian religious point-of-view this is a nursing period of Holy Mother, when the mother and God should be protected from evil influences. Today masked people (karachi) fill bags with gifts, and the children gather wood, and place it on Kamara. On the morning of St. Vasilie the elderly build a big fire – tutija. With song and dance they symbolically represent the Sun, and the people (Survari) scare away the bad and evil spirits.

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