October 31, 2015

Are Bulgarians superstitious?

Are Bulgarians superstitious and are you familiar with the most common superstitions? Circle the correct answer: What first comes to mind when you see the following objects? Coming across a  four-leaved clover 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 until 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, you can […]
March 4, 2015

Baba Marta

Baba Marta is a traditional Bulgarian holiday celebrated on the 1st of March. Bulgarians believe that this day marks the beginning of spring. You can hardly see a person on the 1st March without a Martenitsa either on his coat or on his wrist. The origin of the Martenitsa The tradition dates back to the 7th century. Legend says that Khan Asparuh (the ruler of Bulgars in the second half of the 7th century) had a sister named Huba. She was a captive in another kingdom. One day, Asparuh sent his sister an announcement that he had found a land (southwards from the Danube river, today’s Bulgaria) for them to settle down. Huba managed to run away and reached the river. As she looked for a path, Asparuh’s sister tied a white thread to a falcon’s leg. The other end of the thread remained in her hand, but as soon as the falcon found a way he was speared by an arrow and his blood colored the thread. In the […]
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. Denmark has a different tradition – on 14th February the 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 […]
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 […]