Friday, December 30, 2016

A Bulgarian New Year Celebration

First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.
F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Will 2017 be a better year than 2016?  I certainly hope so. There was the loss of Lyubka Rondova and Esma Redzepova in the world of Balkan music.  They will be missed.

Today's post features two Bulgarian New Year celebrations.  The first one has dancing and singing; the second, fireworks and music.

Video #1 features Nikolina Chakardakova, a Bulgarian folk singer from the Pirin region. Here she leads a New Year's celebration in 2014 with a medley of danceable folk songs.

The beauty of this is that she gets everyone up and dancing, even though it's cold outside (it is a good way to keep warm).

The event was broadcast on Bulgarian TV.

Video #2 is quite noisy because Bulgarians get a bit crazy with the pyrotechnics for Nova Godina. There are three pieces traditionally played at midnight: the Bulgarian National Anthem, Mila Rondino, (0:20),  Diko Iliev's Dunavsko Horo (1:44), and a Russian hymn sung by Boris Christoff (last name also spelled Hristov) Mnogaya Leta  Grant, O Lord, Many Years (6:27).

Boris Christoff was best known for his operatic performances, especially in  Boris Godenov.   He was born in Plovdiv. He left Bulgaria for Italy in 1945 and never went back for the rest of his life. When he died in 1993, his body was returned to Bulgaria and given a State funeral.

The Bulgarian National Anthem has undergone a number of changes over the years.  The version currently in use glorifies the beauty of the country. You can find the lyrics in the original language, transliteration and English translation here.

Notice: you won't find Auld Lang Syne anywhere in this video.  In my humble opinion it's a sappy song suitable only for those drunk enough to sing it.

Happy New Year 2017!

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

The Best of The Alien Diaries 2010-2015

Now That We've Survived The End of the World (next prediction is for August 2017)

Happy New Year 2014: Same Dance, Different Music: Dunavsko Horo

In memory of two great singers who passed on in 2016:

A Tribute to Esma Redzepova

A Tribute to Lyubka Rondova

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