Bulgaria
The land of roses
Our country in general
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Capital: Sofia
Official Languages: Bulgarian
Population:
2001 census 7,932,984
2008 estimate - 7,606,551
• Area:
Total - 110,910 km2
42,823 sq mi
Our habits and customs
• Nestinarstvo is a ritual originally
performed in several Bulgarian
villages in the Strandzha Mountains
close to the Black Sea coast . It
involves a barefooted dance on
smouldering embers (zharava)
performed by nestinari. It is usually
performed on the square of the village
in front of the whole population on
the day of Sts. Constantine and Helen
or the day of the village's patron saint.
The ritual is a unique mixture of
Eastern Orthodox beliefs and older
pagan traditions from the Strandzha
Mountains.
Our habits and customs
• Martenitsa is a small piece of adornment,
made of white and red yarn and worn from
March 1 until around the end of March (or
the first time an individual sees a stork,
swallow or budding tree). The name of the
holiday is Baba Marta. "Baba" is the
Bulgarian word for "grandmother" and Mart
is the Bulgarian word for the month of
March. Baba Marta is a Bulgarian tradition
related to welcoming the upcoming spring.
The month of March, according to Bulgarian
folklore, marks the beginning of springtime.
Therefore, the first day of March is a
traditional holiday associated with sending
off winter and welcoming spring.
Our habits and customs
• Kukeri is a traditional Bulgarian ritual to scare away evil
spirits, with a costumed man performing the ritual. The
costumes cover most of the body and includes decorated
wooden masks of animals and large bells attached to the
belt. Around New Year the kukeri dance through the
village to scare evil spirits away with the costumes and the
sound of the bells, as well as to provide a good harvest,
health, and happiness to the village during the year.
The kukeri traditionally visit the peoples' houses at night
so that "the sun would not catch them on the road." After
going around the village they gather at the square to dance
wildly and amuse the people. The ritual varies by region
but its essence remains largely the same.
Interesting places to
visit
• The Belogradchik Rocks are a group of bizarrely shaped
sandstone, limestone and conglomerate rock formations
located on the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains (Stara
Planina) near the town of Belogradchik in northwest Bulgaria.
The rocks vary in color from primarily red to gray to yellow;
some of the rocks reach up to 200 m in height. Many rocks
have fantastic shapes and are associated with interesting
legends. They are often named for people or objects they are
thought to resemble. The Belogradchik Rocks have been
declared a Natural Landmark by the Bulgarian government
and are a major tourist attraction in the region.
Interesting places to
visit
• Thousands of years ago, Perperikon was a massive
bald rock. The rugged wilderness of the Eastern
Rhodope must have cradled a rich megalithic culture
long before the Thracian tribes inherited the land.
• The week leading up
to the June solstice is
the time chosen for
the Perperikon Art
Festival, its last night,
on the 22nd of June,
the shortest night of
the year, a night of
magic according to
popular belief. And the
organisers' idea is to
make it a night of
midsummer revelry
under the starlit sky,
with dance and music
to celebrate a
millennial tradition
rooted in the ancient
Dionysia.
• Bulgaria is one of the countries which can
make you believe in legends…
• WELLCOME to Bulgaria and become part
of the legend…
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Bulgaria