June 4, 2016
10 Quick Facts about Bulgaria you Might not Know

QUICK FACTS ABOUT BULGARIA

History can be both an interesting subject and a boring discipline. So, you are curious about this small country on the Balkans? This time you don’t have to open a huge textbook and cram for an exam. All you need is to find a comfortable chair and set aside a couple of minutes to immerse in this short reading. Here are some Quick Facts about Bulgaria. Quick facts about Bulgaria: 1. The territory of Bulgaria  It’s from time to time likened to the lion’s appearance. (Just use your vivid imagination!) 2. Biggest cities  Find more about the lovely Bulgarian cities by joining our tours! Sofia is the capital city. Plovdiv is the second largest city followed by Varna and Burgas.   3. Musala Musala is 2,925m (9,596ft) in height. The peak is situated in the Rila Mountain in southwestern Bulgaria. Its name literally means ‘Near God’. That is the highest peak not only in the country, but also in the entire Balkan Peninsula.    4. Rayskoto praskalo Rayskoto praskalo  is an ideal route for those who are […]
May 1, 2016
“Hristos Voskrese” or Happy Easter from Bulgaria

“Hristos Voskrese” or Happy Easter from Bulgaria

Easter is one of the most important Christian holidays. Easter is the day when Jesus Christ has risen from the dead three days after his crucifixion on Good Friday. The date of the holidays changes every year as it is connected to the first full moon after the coming of the spring. But it’s always on Sunday. 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). Easter is recognized as a legal holiday in most countries with a significant Christian tradition. The preparation for Easter starts the week before – Holy Week. On Great Thursday all the families paint eggs in different colors, predominantly in red (as a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ). That can be done on Saturday before sunrise too. The first egg is always painted red to symbolize the blood of Christ and should be put aside – either to be buried […]
April 24, 2016
Palm Sunday In Bulgaria - St. Lazar's Day - Free Plovdiv Tour

Palm Sunday In Bulgaria

Palm Sunday is a moveable feast celebrated a week before Easter by all Christians. Palm Sunday marks Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. On the previous day – Saturday – Jesus Christ raised Lazar from the dead. The holiday is named after the resurrected Lazar (St. Lazar’s Day). Traditionally, on St. Lazar’s Day from 6 to 7 lassies walk around the town/village. They perform a variety of customs connected to the holiday. Most often they sing praises to all the family members. It is believed that a house visited by the young ladies (also known in Bulgaria as ‘lazarki’) will have good luck throughout the whole year. On Palm Sunday willow twigs are sanctified and given away. Everyone takes one and brings it home as it is a widely spread belief that these twigs not only bring health and happiness, but can also heal a diseased person. The willow twigs symbolize the palm trees placed on the ground by the people as Jesus entered Jerusalem. He came into the town on a […]
February 14, 2016
St. Valentine’s Day or St. Trifon’s Day

St. Valentine’s Day or St. Trifon’s Day

Along with St. Valentine’s Day in Bulgaria we do celebrate Trifon Zarezan. As we all know St. Valentine’s Day is the day of Love. What about Trifon Zarezan? It is the national festival of vine-growing and wine-producing. According to the old calendar, Trifonovden used to be on the 1st February. Nowadays, everyone chooses on which date to celebrate it, but some Bulgarians have decided to honour the name of St. Trifon both on the 1st and the 14th February! The festival of the wine dates back to ancient times. The Thracians were the first to think highly of wine and wine-trade. The legend tells that King Lycurgus the Thrace once sent the Dionysus’ retinue away. Later, Dionysus – the god of wine – took revenge making the king kill his own son while believing he was trimming the vine. There is a similar story telling the life of St. Trifon. He was punished to cut off his nose with a pruning-knife as he mocked at the Virgin Mary. These days, […]
January 5, 2016
St. Jordan’s Day or Epiphany - Bulgarian Holiday

St. Jordan’s Day or Epiphany

Whether you have heard about St. Jordan’s Day or its ecclesiastical name Epiphany it means one and the same day and holiday. There is evidence proving that the holiday was celebrated even as early as the 2nd century AD. Actually, until the 4th century AD St. Jordan’s Day coincided with Christmas so Epiphany appeared to be the collective name of the two feasts. According to the Orthodox calendar, St. Jordan’s Day commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ from St. John the Baptist. Later, the Church decided to separate the holidays and since then the 25th December is known as Christmas and Epiphany is celebrated on the 6th January. In Bulgaria there is a long-lived tradition related to the date of the 6th January. Usually, on that particular day a ceremonial throw of a cross from the local church takes place. The ritual is put into practice wherever a water basin is available.   Once the cross is thrown, men jump into the water and everyone tries to be the first […]
October 31, 2015
Are Bulgarians superstitious - List of Superstitions - Free Plovdiv Tour

Are Bulgarians superstitious?

Are bulgarians superstitious? – Task 1 – Circle the correct answer: What first comes to mind when you see the following objects? Coming across a  four-leaved clove means good luck for the finder. In case a black cat crosses your path, there is a risk that something bad might happen to you untill the end of the day. Walking under a ladder invariably stands for bad luck. All of the above. If you are of the opinion that ALL of the statements are TRUE, then you have answered the question correctly. Good for you! Probably, these three symbols – a four-leaved clover, a black cat and a ladder – are among the most common ones worldwide. Everyone has spent hours and hours (or at least some 10 minutes) looking for a ‘lucky’ clover in the backyard or while hiking in the mountains. We tend to be really tenacious when it comes to ensuring good luck for ourselves and our beloved ones. What’s more, I have noticed people crossing the street […]
February 14, 2015
valentine's day

St. Valentine’s Day all over the world

The Bulgarian equivalent to St. Valentine’s Day in Bulgaria The romantic tradition of St. Valentine’s Day was set centuries ago. The ancient Romans celebrated ‘The Day of Love’ on 14th February, praying to the Goddess of marriage and motherhood Junona. Unmarried girls wrote letters and put it in a deep box and the man who brought it out became her husband. Nowadays, the holiday is celebrated all over the world. In Japan and South Korea St. Valentine’s Day dates back to the 1930s. In Japan only men receive gifts on that day and the holiday for women is on 14th March, named ‘The White Day’. In contrast to Japan, in Korea men celebrate the ‘The Black Day’ on which they gather together and drink alcohol. In Denmark on 14th February men give a present of dry white flowers to their loved ones. Germans associate the day with insanity and consider St. Valentine the protector of mad people – which is why they decorate hospitals for mental diseases on Valentine’s Day. […]
January 26, 2015

Plovdiv’s famous citizens’ contribution to the world’s history and art

The city of the seven hills has made a very positive contribution to the world’s history and art. There are not only people born in Plovdiv, but also a lot of Bulgarians lived here for a period of time and also helped the city to flourish. Having asked my parents whether they know a famous person connected to Plovdiv, the first one they thought of was Ivan Vazov. Ivan Vazov was born in 1850 in Sopot (a town in the Rose Valley of Bulgaria). He is a famous Bulgarian poet, novelist and playwright, often named “The Patriarch of Bulgarian Literature”. Vazov worked as Education and People Enlightenment Minister as well. What connects him to Plovdiv are the years he spent here – from 1866 to 1868 and from 1880 to 1886. During this period of time he lived in Plovdiv, studied and created some of his notable works. His masterpiece is the novel “Under the Yoke” which depicts the Ottoman rule in Bulgaria. I highly recommend this book if you […]
December 24, 2013
Koleduvane-Koledari

Koleduvane: Have a very Bulgarian Christmas!

Christmas is a favourite holiday of young and old. There is a tradition that makes the Bulgarian Christmas even more special. Koleda or Rozhdestvo Hristovo is thе time of the year on which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is one of the brightest and most awaited holidays in the Bulgarian calendar, celebrated with century – old traditions. Although many of the Christmas rituals have been forgotten by the contemporary Bulgarian, one has been preserved – the tradition to celebrate with the family. At Christmas every Bulgarian family gathers to spend a holy, but not a very silent night! The atmosphere is cheerful, the food is delicious, the spirits are high. Being with loved ones is the most important component of the Bulgarian Christmas! Bulgarians are Eastern Orthodox, and Christmas celebrations start at 20th December, the day on which St. Ignatius of Antioch is honored (Ignazhden). Ignazhden begins the preparation for one of the most important rituals in the Christmas night – Koleduvane.  Koleduvane As Christmas Eve comes […]