On 14th of January the Chair of the National Assembly Tsveta Karayancheva, Deputy Prime Ministers Tomislav Donchev and Ekaterina Zaharieva, Labor and Social Policy Minister Bisser Petkov and Minister of Health Kiril Ananiev, Deputy Ministers of Education and Science, the Ombudsman Maya Manolova, Ambassadors of Great Britain, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Switzerland and many other institutions and organizations will host children from different ethnic groups from nearly 30 schools across the country for Vasilitsa, the holiday celebrated by most Roma in Bulgaria as the beginning of the New year. This year, however, Amalipe Center is not sending children to the Minister of Defense because of his discriminatory speech, concerning entire Roma community in Bulgaria. The full text of the letter to the Ministry of Defense can be found here.
Vasilitsa is celebrated as the beginning of the New Year by many Roma groups in Bulgaria. The holiday is related to the legend that St. Vassil, a defender of the Roma, restored the bridge which were used by Roma people after it had been destroyed by the Devil and thus saved them. The holiday is celebrated on 13, 14 and 15th of January.
The Jubilee 10th edition of the initiative in Sofia is part of the national campaign organized by Amalipe Center, community centers and schools from all over Bulgaria aiming at promoting the Vasilitsa - Roma New Year celebration. The campaign gives opportunities to students from schools all over the country to wish health and welfare with the traditions of Roma and Bulgarian folklore. The schools involved in the initiative are part of Amalipe Center's network "Every student will be a winner", which includes 270 schools across the country. The main cause of the network is to make the school a place where every child can find themselves, a place where every child can believe that can be excellent, and have the chance to dream and develop - together with other children!
Detailed information about the initiative in Sofia see here in Bulgarian language.