One of the traditional Bulgarian feasts is Nikulden, the day of Saint Nicholas, which is celebrated every year on the 6th of December. Icons of this saint can be seen in nearly every Bulgarian church. The name Nikola is one of the most popular Bulgarian names. St. Nicholas is the patron of the sailors and fishermen, but also of the bankers and all the people working in the financial business, so many people celebrate today.
Bulgarian tradition postulates that there shall be carp on the Saint Nicholas dinner table.
Carp, cooked in dough, the so-called Ribnik, is one of the most popular dishes for this day.
Some people, who do not like the specific taste of this slow-water fish buy other types of fish, but carp is a rule according to the tradition. Carp with many scales. Because the more scales the carp is covered with, the more money will bring Saint Nicholas to the family throughout the coming year. Some scales are thoroughly washed and everybody put one scale in their wallet with the purpose to attract money.
Fish bones shall not be thrown in the garbage, they shall be buried or thrown into water in order the harvest to be good next year.
Saint Nicholas is also the patron saint of Russia and protector of all children.
Every year children throughout the world clean their shoes the evening before the 6th of December, because they know, all the good children receive small gifts, sweets and candies in the morning.