In Bulgaria there is a common belief that the whole next year is correlated with Christmas Eve; the forthcoming year will be as good as this special evening. Therefore the whole family becomes involved in performing the rituals.
For Orthodox Christians, Christmas comes after 40 days and nights of fasting. The forty-day Advent, started on November 15, finishes on this day. Folk beliefs hold it that the Mother of Jesus began her labors on St. Ignatius’ Day and gave birth to God’s son on [Detailed Information]
For nearly a thousand years the Cyrillic alphabet has been one of the few officially recognized languages along with Hebrew, Greek and Latin for spreading Christianity among the peoples of Europe. Now, with Bulgaria's accession into the European Union on January 1 2007, Bulgarian has become an official language of the European Union (EU). Bulgarians are the only EU citizens who write in Cyrillic.
Bulgarians honor the 24th of May as the day of Day of Slavic Alphabet and Culture. The day may [Detailed Information]
Easter is a Christian holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead three days after his crucifixion on Good Friday. Easter also marks the end of the Lent. A symbol of the Resurrection is the egg out of which a bird hatches.
Easter is the time of springtime festivals, a time to welcome back the tulips, the crocuses and the daffodils. It is also the holiest day in the Christian calendar (followed by Christmas) and is recognized as a legal holiday in most countries with a [Detailed Information]
This is a custom that can be seen only in some villages between Strandzha and the Black Sea, around Bourgas. It is observed on the holiday of St.Konstantin and Elena , and sometimes on some of the local village fairs and the church/patron saint's days. A basic element of the custom is the dance in fire (glowing embers). The whole village takes part in the celebration but it is only the fire-dancers that participate in the ritual dance. They are chosen by the saint who is patron of the holiday. [Detailed Information]
"Name Days" are celebrated in addition to birthdays in Bulgaria. As a matter of fact, most Bulgarians value their ‘Name Day’ more than their birthday. A Name Day, or "Saints Day" is celebrated by people named after a particular Saint (eg. everyone named Peter celebrates Saint Peter's day). We could accurately say that “the Name Day is the feast day of the saint after whom one is named."
Bulgaria is largely a Christian country. On their 'Name Day' the person is to light a candle in the [Detailed Information]
Tsvetnitsa or Vrabnitsa (Palm Sunday) is one of the biggest Bulgarian holidays. А “holiday of flowers and trees”, rich in a variety of customs, songs and melodies. Palm Sunday is held annually on the last Sunday before Easter (in 2007 on Sunday, April 1) and it is the people’s belief that this is the day of the fields, meadows and forests. Being one of the most beautiful spring holidays it celebrates the day of the entrance of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, when he was welcomed with [Detailed Information]
Enyovden (June 24) is a festival connected with the summer solstice.
On Midsummer Day the sun is believed to end its journey towards summer and, after giving three jumps it turns towards winter. There was a popular belief that the herbs gathered on the eve of Enyovden have stronger healing powers than those gathered on any other day of the year, so female herbalists and sorcerers roamed the woods and meadows that night to collect herbs. According to the tradition, on Enyovden children and [Detailed Information]
20 December is Ignazhden - the feast day of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. According to thetradition, the Virgin's labor pains began on this day and continued until Christmas. Many ethnographers think that in ancient pagan times Christmas Eve and Ignazhden coincided, both celebrating God Kolada. The separation of the two holidays came after the Slavs were converted to Christianity.
This festival venerates the bishop of Antioch, Saint Ignatius Theophorus, sentenced to death because of his [Detailed Information]
On New Year's Eve and Zagovezni, in Bulgaria, special rituals called Kukeri (Mummer's) games take place. The Kukeri games are performed by men only. They put on special masks, hand-made by each of the participants. Most of the masks are made of wood. Different colored threads are glued on it as well as pieces of multicolored fabrics, mirrors and other shiny elements. The masks represent a ram, a goat or a bull. Their necessary part of the Kukeri games proves the thesis that their origin is [Detailed Information]
On this day, remembered in history as Bulgaria Liberation Day, the people of Bulgaria pause for a tribute. The first time of marking March 3 occurred in 1880, in honor of Enthronement of Russian Emperor Tzar Alexander the Second - Tzar Osvoboditel, meaning Tzar Liberator. Since 1888, March 3 has become Bulgaria's Day of Liberation and it was pronounced a National Holiday in 1978. Since 1990 the date March 3 is included in the list of Bulgaria's official holidays, according to a parliamentary [Detailed Information]
Nikulden is "The Day of Saint Nicholas" - a great winter festival celebrated by all Bulgarians on December 6th. It is the name day for everyone named Nikola, Nikolay, Kolyo, Nikolina, Neno, Nenka, Nikolina or Nina.
Saint Nicholas is believed to help all the sailors and fishermen. He was born during the third century in Patara, a village situated is Turkey nowadays. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died during an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying [Detailed Information]
Sirni Zagovezni, or Shrove Sunday, is one of the most loved holidays coming at the end of the winter. It is always celebrated on Sunday seven weeks before Easter, marking the beginning of the Great Lent, the longest period of fasting throughout the year. In its way, the festival also serves to mark the beginning of spring.
In old days, one of the most typical features of Sirni Zagovezni was the building of large bonfires in the hills surrounding towns and villages; either one communal [Detailed Information]