June 18, 2020

10 Bulgarian seaside destinations for every taste

One of the biggest prides of Bulgaria are its beautiful beaches. From the northernmost Durankulak to the southernmost Rezovo, there are countless places – big and small, more or less famous, where you can soak up some sun. So here are the top 10 Bulgarian seaside destinations that cater to all tastes. Seaside destinations for history geeks Historical heritage may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are searching for a summer holiday destination. But if you find the prospect of lying on the beach for a week with nothing much to do rather daunting, these two towns may have just the right mix of history and chill. Nessebar Nessebar is over three millennia old. Its old town is situated on a peninsula, which is joined to the mainland by a thin sliver of land. Part of the list of UNESCO, this beautiful town showcases a motley collection of scenic ruins. Its biggest pride are the beautiful churches in various states of repair, the oldest of […]
February 13, 2020

Where to spend February the 14th in Plovdiv?

February the 14th is well known as St. Valentine’s Day – the day of the people in love. And while in many places around the world boys and girls were excited whether they would get a Valentine’s Day card on this day, here in Bulgaria we have a different celebration. Trifon Zarezan – the celebration of vine and wine. Trifon Zarezan It is the national festival of vine-growing and wine-producing. The traditions around this day are all connected to the awakening of the vegetation, end of winter and fertility of the land. Every farmer performs some special rituals on his own vineyard, but if you want to know what exactly is zaryazvane (зарязване), you will have to check this article dedicated to the holiday itself. For now, keep in mind wine is also included in the traditions. Love and wine in Plovdiv If you happen to be in Plovdiv for February the 14th we have some nice ideas for you on how to spend the day. Don’t worry – the […]
January 6, 2020

St. Jordan’s Day or Epiphany

Whether you have heard about St. Jordan’s Day or its ecclesiastical name Epiphan, 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 church 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 of January. Traditions in Bulgaria In Bulgaria, there is a long-lived tradition related to the date of the 6th of January. Usually, on St. Jordan’s 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 […]
December 24, 2019

Christmas and New Year’s Eve traditions in Bulgaria

Family dinners, gifts and lots of snow. This is what Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations are usually associated with. But just like every other nation, we, Bulgarians, have some specific Christmas and New Year’s Eve traditions. Here’s a deeper look into a few of the most popular ones! Christmas Bread and New Year’s Eve banitsa Christmas bread As you will see in one of the next paragraphs, Bulgarians have many traditional holiday meals. However, two of them are much than just food on the table – the Christmas bread and the banitsa on New Year’s Eve. Both of them are connected to entire rituals, which determine the fortune of everyone around the table. Perhaps the most awaited moment during Christmas Eve dinner is the breaking of the specially decorated Christmas bread. Not only because it’s super tasty – but there is also a treasure, hidden within. Every year the matriarch of the family puts a coin, wrapped in tinfoil within the dough. It is believed that whoever finds the […]
October 23, 2019

Drinking coffee in Plovdiv – a special ritual

For every true Plovdivian the day begins with a good cup of coffee. Furthermore, the refreshing beverage is considered a must-drink for every guest of our city too. Although nowadays drinking coffee is so popular all over the world, not many people actually know where it comes from. History and origins It all began in the old Islamic world. In the 15 and 16 centuries, the Sufi followers in Yemen started drinking coffee. Soon everyone from Mecca to Cairo would do so. It is believed to originate from Ethiopia. For the first time, people there realized they could use the coffee beans. Eventually, in the entire Arabic Peninsula, parts of India, all of the Ottoman Empire and even the Balkans people realized the magical effect and amazing taste of the coffee. A special ritual in Bulgaria In Bulgarian lands, it was introduced during the Ottoman rule, exactly in the time frame mentioned above. Coffee has always had a socializing effect on people. You would not just drink it while you […]
September 17, 2019

Bulgarian superstitions and curious traditions

A black cat crossing your path or walking under a ladder. Knocking on wood. Friday the 13th. These are all among the „classics“ of superstition all over the world. But did you know that Bulgarians have a number of superstitions, which aren’t that common in other countries? Some of them have roots in pre-Christian rituals. Others are so old that no one knows how they came to be anymore. But all of them are quite bizarre. Here you can take a deeper look into four of the most interesting and curious ones! The charm of the chimney sweep Cleaning chimneys usually involves getting one’s clothes all black and dirty. Therefore, it is understandable why most people wouldn’t want to shake hands with a chimney sweep after a hard day’s work. This isn’t the case in Bulgaria. Because according to one of the country’s most popular superstitions touching a chimney sweep and getting soot on your hands will bring a person good fortune for the rest of the day. Of course, […]
June 11, 2019

5 typical Plovdiv slang words and phrases

Many cities are famous for something unique- food, cars, rich history, amazing festivals, and colorful day or nightlife. Yet others are famous with special urban slang – phrases used only there. Plovdiv is very modest and we have everything-  8 thousand years of history, one of the biggest folklore festivals in Europe and indeed very bright lifestyle, no matter day or night time. But the Plovdiv slang is by far the most unique aspect of its culture. Here is our list of funny untypical words and phrases that can be found in the vocabulary of a local citizen. Maina First of all – Maina (Майна). This is so unique to Plovdiv that you can’t find it anywhere else. Maina is a meaningless word, even though it is loosely related to the word “mother”. Maina is an exclamation used quite often in the everyday language of almost 100% of the inhabitants of the city and no matter if you were born here or you are just living in Plovdiv you’ll have […]
May 12, 2019

Bulgarian Traditional Crafts coming back to life – Knitting

The Traditional Craft Knitting and the overall processing of wool from the animal to the end product have always been a big traditional craft for Bulgarian people. It is a very special reflection on rural life in the country. Every household has the typical tools for knitting. Back in the days, girls learned how to do it ever since they were small. Because the better they knit, the bigger the chance to find a husband. Knitting was and still is also a good reason for elderly women to socialize. Whenever they gather to talk and gossip they’d simultaneously prepare socks for their grandchildren.  Knitting in Plovdiv nowadays There is a brand-new place in the heart of Plovdiv (Kapana neighborhood), which brings us closer to that traditional craft. It opened around Christmas 2018. The highlights inside are the handmade rugs, souvenirs, and mainly socks. They feature motives typical for each different mountain regions of Bulgaria. You can especially see that in the colors. Predominant red and blue color are typical for […]
May 4, 2019

The Amazing Revival Houses of Plovdiv

Every person who ever walked in the Old Town of Plovdiv was stunned with the beauty of the Plovdiv Revival Houses. At the end of the 18th century and especially during the 19th century, rich merchants were trading with Europe and the Orient. They had an understandable ambition to demonstrate their wealth by building large luxurious homes. Bulgarian craftsmen, skilled architects, masons, carpenters and painters combined their skills, proving extremely effective for the prosperity of the buildings in Plovdiv in those years. During this time Plovdiv was an important economic center. Because of that, many wealthy and educated people who lived in the city traveled extensively in Europe. From their travels, they brought not only exotic goods but also new cultural ideas. Wealthy merchants showed their wealth by building beautiful, richly ornamented houses which as a result became symbolic for the Old Town. The new houses were symmetrical – they had an oval hall with 4 rooms in the corners, erkers (sort of architectural windows/balconies)and gossip rooms on the top floor. […]