In Bulgaria, the word 'kurban' denotes bloody sacrifice brought to God, saints or mythical protectors of family group or the whole village. It represents a specific feature of spiritual culture that runs across the whole structure of traditional as well as contemporary folk customs in Bulgaria. The sacrifice of animal constitutes part of family, annual and work customs and church ceremonies. The article renders basic information on the roots and context of this custom and characterizes its traditional form. It focuses on the preparation of 'kurban' as ritual dish and the attitudes of the Orthodox Church to this custom. It traces the persistence of the custom in contemporary Bulgarian society, where the broad traditional family relations are being lost. The article is based on field research realized in the years 2005 and 2007 as well as the study of literature.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.