site.btaBulgarian Community in Istanbul Celebrates Christmas
The Bulgarian community in Istanbul celebrated Christmas beginning with attending a liturgy at the St Stephen church in the city. Also known as the Iron Church, it is situated on the shore of the Golden Horn, at the heart of the Turkish megalopolis.
Archimandrite Charalampy, who celebrated the liturgy before a packed church, underscored the importance of the feast for the world and wished health, peace and love between all people across the globe. Readings from the Gospel in different languages followed.
The Bulgarian community church choir conducted by Kiriako Lyaze performed Nativity chants.
Later, many people also gathered for the traditional Christmas party at the Bulgarian Exarchate. They were welcomed by the head of the eponymous foundation, Vassil Lyaze, and Dimitar Yotev of the church board.
Elderly members of the community and children received Christmas presents from the Radost [Joy] Women’s Society, successor to an identical one established nearly a century ago.
Many joined in the traditional Bulgarian horo chain dance.