In most western cultures, moving one's head up and down is understood as an expression of agreement, while moving it from side to side conveys disagreement.
It's not totally clear why this method of nonverbal communication evolved differently in Bulgaria than in other parts of the world.
The Ottoman occupation was a tumultuous period in Bulgaria's history, which resulted in thousands of deaths and much religious upheaval.
This tension between the Ottoman Turks and Bulgarians is the source of the two prevailing theories for Bulgarian head-nodding conventions.
In 2005, the foreign media found out about the tradition and the world was outraged by its cruelty.
Bulgarian animal welfare organizations also stood firmly against it.
There’s beer, grilled meat and lots of socializing.