Category Archives: Bulgaria

Bulgarian Nativity Icon

This three-dimensional icon creates the impression of a cave in which the Holy Family is huddled together. In the center the baby Jesus is lying on some straw. The star of Bethlehem shines brightly above Jesus. Mary kneels down in adoration. Joseph holds his left hand to his head in seeming disbelief. The traditional ox and donkey are present.

Beyond the cave a shepherd who is tending his sheep gazes in amazement at the singing choir of angels. The three magi arrive in the distance.

Two inscriptions illuminate the visual message. The scroll above the cave of the Nativity right beneath the singing angels reads as follows though with some difficulty: Δόξα εν υψίστοις Θεω και επί γης ειρήνη which is Greek for “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace.” The two words on either side of the singing angels seem to be Bulgarian:  рождество and христово meaning the Nativity of Christ. Though the и in  христово is replaced with a Greek ι as in  хрιстово.