Bulgarian mythology and folklore is said to come from three incomplete sources which have merged together over the years, though each has left traces of regional differences.
The three sources of Bulgarian myth are Thracian, Slavic and Proto-Bulgarian. Records on all three oral traditions are sparse and there is little knowledge as to how the beliefs merged into what is today known as Bulgarian myth and folklore.
Thracian people http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/593556/Thracian
Slavic People http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/548156/Slav
The Personification of Disease. Diseases are usually ugly, frightful and shabby female creatures sent to punish people for their sin such as Plague. Plague hits her victims with arrows, but she loves cleanliness and often spares old people, widows, and those who plea for kindness.
The Bestiary of Bulgarian folklore is also very interesting. One my favorite creatures, as anyone who reads my writing can tell, is the goblin. The Bulgarians have a forest goblin, Karakoncolos, who only comes out after dark. They cause travelers to lose their way.
The Karakoncolos have thick ugly hair that covers its entire body. In some tales Karakoncolos are ghouls who stalk people in the dark. http://www.potiori.com/Karakoncolos.html
I also love bogeymen, those creatures with which children are threatened because there are such a wide variety of them. Bulgaria has Torbalan who brings a pack to carry off naughty children. http://www.vagobond.com/bulgaria-monsters-legends/
Bagiennik are water demons who burn victims, but also have an incredible amount of healing powers. You can find Bagienniks by bubbles on the water’s surface. http://horridhistory.weebly.com/deities-spirits-and-monsters-in-east-slavic-mythology.html
Baba Marta, Grandmother March, is one of the best known stories of Bulgarian mythology. Her moods are as variable as her month, but she is the end of winter and the start of spring. http://goeasteurope.about.com/od/bulgariaandthebalkans/ss/bulgariaculture_3.htm
I include Kuma Lisa, a fox who plays tricks on the wolf, Kumcho Vulcho, because I like the name. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuma_Lisa
Penultimately, I’ll discuss the Ustrel. The Ustrel, (see The Golden Bough by Sir James Fraser) is a most unusual type of vampire and I love unusual. An ustrel is a baby born on a Saturday who dies before receiving baptism. After nine days it claws its way out of the grave and finds a herd of cattle. It then decimates the herd.
A vampire hunter must perform a fire ritual to get rid of an ustrel at a crossroads. The ustrel cannot leave the crossroads so it stays there until it is consumed by wolves. http://ilovewerewolves.com/ustrel-bulgaria-vampire/
And, finally but certainly not the last, a vampire hunter of more traditional vampires is called a djadadjii who gets rid of vampires by tempting them with their favorite food and then trapping them in a bottle. The bottle is then disposed of in a fire. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djadadjii
Three favorite Bulgarian riddles (answers on May 28)
As small as walnuts, they sit in a low place, but they reach to the sky.
What is the sweetest and the bitterest thing in the world?
A world without people
Cities without houses
Forests without trees
And seas without water.
And today’s Bulgarian saying: A sweet word opens iron gates.