Main holidays

New year’s eve in Bulgaria is traditionally celebrated on January 1st.

National liberation from Ottoman yoke is celebrated on March 3rd (it is a national holiday) since 1991. The day is marked by festivities and parades throughout the entire country.

Celebrating the Shipka battles – year 2008. Photo by Ivan Ivanov, private work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Easter – celebrated in April or May – the days are fixed according to the Orthodox calendar.

Traditional coloured Easter eggssource

Labour day – 1 May.

St. George’s day – day of valour and of the Bulgarian army – 6 may. Details about the holiday and the rituals, connected with it, can be accessed here.

Day of Bulgarian education and culture and Slavic alphabet – 24 May. This is the day, on which Bulgarians celebrate the holy brothers Kiril and Methodius, who created the Slavic alphabet.

The holy brothers Kiril and Methodius, creators of the Slavic alphabet. Source.

Day of Bulgarian union – 6 September. The union is the act, with which on Sept 6th in 1885 Eastern Rumelia seceded from the Ottoman empire and joined Principality Bulgaria in conflict with the decision of the Great Powers, taken during the Berlin congress.

„United Bulgaria“. A litography by Nikolay Pavlovich. In the background is visible the image of a sad girl, which depicts the fate of Macedonian Bulgarians, who during 1885 still remain within the boundaries of the Ottoman empire. Source.

Independence day – 22 September. On this date during 1908 in Tarnovo, the Bulgarian state denounces its political and financial dependence from the Ottoman empire, imposed by the great European countries with the Berlin treaty thirty years earlier. The Bulgarian prince takes the title “tsar”.

Day of national educators – a free day for all schools in the country – 1 November. A common Bulgarian holiday, marking the work of Bulgarian educators, revolutionaries, writers and leaders of the reviving national spirit, urge for education and literary upheaval. The day is marked every year with lit parades.

Christmas eve – 24 December. On this day Christians prepare themselves spiritually – through fasting and praying to welcome the birth of Christ. The meal on the Christmas eve dinner table should not include any meat products. The meals that should be prepared for it, must be an odd number (7, 9 or 11).

Christmas eve dinner table. Source.

Christmas – 25 and 26 December. One of the greatest Christian holidays. Christians celebrate the birth of the Son of God – Jesus Christ – which, according to Luca, took place in Bethlehem.

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