If you're planning a trip to Bulgaria, it behooves you to know when it marks holidays and a bit about those celebrations. If you're there on a holiday, you are an eyewitness to the country's culture, history, and personality, and that adds an interesting dimension to your visit. But you should also be aware that on national and religious holidays, public institutions, shops, and restaurants might be closed.
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Jan. 1: New Year's Day
Bulgaria rings in the New Year with the rest of the world on Jan. 1. If you're in Sofia, the capital, head to Batenburg Square, where annual performances are held in honor of this holiday.
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03 of 09
March 3: Liberation of Bulgaria Day
Liberation of Bulgaria Day celebrates the establishment of the Bulgarian state in 1878. This holiday, like other similar ones in different countries around the world, is marked with public ceremonies.
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May 1: Labor Day
Bulgaria's Labor Day has been celebrated since the middle of the 20th century and is marked as a day of rest.
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May 24: Day of Slavonic Education and Culture
This day is also known as the Day of Slavonic Alphabet and Culture and the Day of Sts. Cyril and Methodius. This unusual holiday celebrates the Cyrillic alphabet and its developers, Cyril and Methodius. In the ninth century, these two Greek monks created the Cyrillic alphabet, a form of which is still in use today in Bulgaria.
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Sept. 6: Unification Day
This day celebrates the unification of Bulgaria with the province of Eastern Rumelia in the 19th century. The unification almost doubled Bulgaria's size. As with other national holidays dealing with borders and origin, the day is honored with public ceremonies.
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Sept. 22: Independence Day
Bulgaria celebrates its independence from the Ottoman Empire with ceremonies marking this important event. Bulgaria became independent on Sept. 22, 1908, not long before World War I.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
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Christmas in Bulgaria is celebrated over three days: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Dec. 26, the second day of Christmas. Christmas Day dinner is traditionally a huge feast that features a main dish of meat. Families follow Christmas customs and indulge in traditional foods on this long winter holiday.