March 6, 2020

The Best Annual Events in Plovdiv

Plovdiv, as its motto “Ancient and Eternal” suggests, supports and sustains the continuation of many traditions. And what could be more eternal for humanity than music and culture? Let’s check the best annual events in town! Annual events on the Youth Hill There are many annual events that happen in the city. Here are some of the most renowned, sorted by no particular order than location. The most versatile event location is fittingly located just beyond the north face of our most mystical and highest hill, now called Youth Hill. The fields there are open to hosting all sorts of events. Of course – the location’s versatility comes with upsides and downsides. The versatility comes from the fact that the fields are given they are – meaning people have full freedom to make whatever kind of event they like, as long as they build the infrastructure themselves. You can see them transform 180° from one weekend to the next, coming to show the variety made possible by people who want […]
February 21, 2020

The best things about Plovdiv being European Capital of Culture

For the past year, Plovdiv was under the spotlights, being a European Capital of culture. This was a prize we were most proud of. But what did it bring to Plovdiv besides fame? Renovations and excavations To begin with, we succeeded in renovating a great part of the city center. Since 2015 when Plovdiv won the title European capital of culture for 2019, we’ve turned this area of the city into a jewel. Starting with Kapana district – the first arts district of Bulgaria. In the past, the ottoman marketplace was there – full of life and working artisans. Sadly with time it lost its function as the merchant center of Plovdiv and turned into a poorly maintained neighborhood nearby the pedestrian street. After the city was chosen to be the European Capital of Culture for 2019 Kapana had its revival. Now it has become a favorite spot for both locals and tourists. We renovated many of the 19th-century houses around the main street and made sure Plovdiv will look […]
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

Jordan’s Day or Epiphany

Whether you have heard about 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 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, Jordan’s Day commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ performed by St. John the Baptist. Later, the Church decided to separate the holidays and since then the 25th of 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 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 and everyone […]
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 […]
December 3, 2019

Gifts and souvenirs from… our tourists?

It’s December – the last month in the calendar and the end of the current year. Time to think back and see if we are happy with the last twelve months we had and what are we thankful for. Furthermore, it is time to look in the future and make some resolutions and promises to ourselves. December is also the time to give others the most precious gifts – give them joy, happiness and gratitude for having them by your side. The Christmas Holidays have one great power over religious and non-religious people – they remind everybody about the joy of giving. The joy of making others happy. It’s up to you whether you are going to achieve that by charity, spending merry time with beloved people or by giving presents. Gifts from tourist But what do walking tours have to do with gifts? Surprisingly – a lot. Isn’t that the best thing about traveling and meeting new people from all over the world – enriching ourselves and others? And […]
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 […]
October 22, 2019

Cycling in Plovdiv: a Basic Guide

What is cycling and why should we do it? And is cycling in Plovdiv a good idea? Tackling the question of ‘why’ is the most important in any new discipline. There are many reasons why you should ride your bike, and the first of them is purely egoistical: For yourself! It’s an easy, low-impact form of exercise that is time-efficient, good for strength and stamina and fun! Replacing your automobile with a bicycle for your daily commute is one of the best decisions you can make, and you will soon see changes in yourself. You’ll burn more calories and get leaner, and benefit from improved mental focus. Also, you’ll arrive at meetings happier and more energized from the exercise you just did. It’s also good for cities, making them more people-friendly and quiet, as one more cyclist is one less automobile on the road. Furthermore, last but not least, it’s eco-friendly, not producing any emissions. Just the presence of a cyclist passing by cars in a traffic jam gets people […]
September 22, 2019
Bulgaria's Independence Day

Bulgaria’s Independence Day

One of the most confusing facts about Bulgarian history is that we have a Liberation Day (our biggest national holiday, celebrated on the 3rd of March) and Independence Day (celebrated on the 22nd of September)… and these are two completely different things! In this blog post we will try to make it clear what the difference is. Also, why is the 22nd of September a significant date in our history. Liberation Day The contemporary Bulgarian state appeared on the map in 1878. It was a result of a war between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. The Russians won that war. The preliminary ceasefire was signed on the 3rd of March at San Stefano (nowadays a suburb of Istanbul under the name of Yeshilkoy). According to its provisions, a fully independent Bulgarian state was to be formed. The Bulgarian territory was supposed to include almost 170 000 sq. It included many regions, which are nowadays in Greece, Northern Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia. These provisions, however, never became a reality. The […]