Following a year without on-ground Christmas events due to the Covid restrictions, the traditions are back on campus. The annual Christmas bazaar found its place back on the calendar during the last Thursday of classes. The participants made sure to offer many sweets, traditional baked goods, and surprises to everyone who stopped by the ABF Sports Hall.
The AUBG students put away their academic lives and the finals-related stress for a while, and instead got together in the name of charity. Students, faculty, and staff enjoyed the community spirit and joined efforts to raise money for the Medical Center for Daily Treatment for Children with Disabilities “Zornitsa” and the Social Home for Adults with Mental Health Difficulties in the village of Mlamolovo. The AUBG community collected BGN 2,870 to support the two institutions. Lilia Tsarska captured the mood during the bazaar.
“We decided to have the Christmas bazaar because we knew that the community needed some Christmas spirit,” said Desislava Stamova, a third-year student and president of the Better Community Club. “Moreover, we need this spirit to kick off the finals. Some of the seniors in our club participated in the last Christmas bazaar. They were in charge of the organization then, so they helped us a lot now. I would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who embraced the idea, came to the bazaar, prepared something, or got involved in some other way.”
“It is very nice that all of the clubs got together to do something good for the community,” said Valeriya Gerganova, a member of the Business Club. “Even though we as clubs are normally focused on many different areas, here we are together with the same goal. On the Business club’s table we have all kinds of cookies, we have warm food and drinks. Аnd as the coffee with Baileys is something quite festive, we decided to offer it, along with a chocolate fountain. You can feel the Christmas spirit on campus, and see everyone cooking, baking and decorating. It feels great!”
“What we have here is called butterbeer. It is an old 16-th century Tudors’ recipe,” said Ethan Perelstein from More Honors. “King Henry VIII was drinking it. It is like a million calories — spicy and delicious.” Ethan said that the name was misleading and the beverage doesn’t share much similarity with beer apart from the visual resemblance. The drink actually gained its popularity thanks to the Harry Potter books where the characters drank the alcoholic version of the beverage, however, the visitors of the bazaar at AUBG had the chance to try it with or without a shot of whisky. For this year’s bazaar, More Honors prepared a ring toss that provided various prizes and made sure to entertain the guests in their emblematic style.
Sofia Boneva is a sophomore studying Psychology and Business Administration. This is the first community event that she has the chance to experience on-ground. “I am here to decorate the StartUp table and I will come a bit later to sell some of our food,” Sofia said. “I think I made everyone a favor that I didn’t cook, it is better that someone who actually has the talent for it does it. It is incredible that we can do something as a community to relieve the stress. I love how all the clubs come together and that there are so many lights everywhere. This bazaar being right before finals is also a way to remind everyone that finals are not that important and spending time with your friends and donating to charity can be more important than that.”
Mariami Gugushvili is a third-year student from Georgia and this is the second time she participates in the Christmas bazaar. “Together with the people from Radio AURA, we decided to prepare banitza and cookies and I prepared a cheesecake,” she said. “The first try with the cheesecake was not very successful so I woke up in the morning to make a second one. For me cooking is a stress relief. I am focusing on cooking right now so that I don’t think about the stress of finals and research papers. It is like candy for my brain. I missed this whole AUBG life last year as I was an online student. Next year we should make the bazaar even bigger and invite more people to cook and participate in the organization.”