Log In

Share This Page


Lifestyle & Culture in Bulgaria

Lifestyle & Culture in Bulgaria

Lifestyle & Culture in Bulgaria

In what is now Bulgaria, lifestyles and civilizations have evolved over thousands of years. Bulgaria is positioned at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and its territories have been inhabited since prehistoric times. Slavs and proto-Bulgarians were profoundly impacted by Thracians, Illyrians, and Greeks civilizations, and all peoples who lived on these territories – Thracians, Romans, Slavs, and Bulgarians – contributed to the world’s cultural legacy. It is no coincidence that the cradle of European civilisation was located here.

The Varna necropolis is home to some of the world’s most renowned artifacts, including the world’s oldest golden jewellery; Thracian tombs and sanctuaries may be found at Kazanlak, Sveshtari, Starosel, Aleksandrovo, Perperikon, and Tatul. Numerous more golden items have been discovered at Panagyurishte, Valchitran, and Rogozen, among other locations. The Thracian, Hellenistic, and Roman cultures left many and diverse artifacts. Numerous Thracians graves have been uncovered, each containing unique relics attesting to antiquity’s great material and spiritual civilization. Augusta Trayana, Trimontium, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Pautalia, Akre, Mesemvria, Apolonia, Serdika, and several more had been discovered. Bulgarians have kept traditions, festivals, customs, and rituals over the years, demonstrating the country’s deep spirituality and vibrant lifestyle and culture.

Bulgarian traditions date all the way back to antiquity and are inextricably linked to the country’s history and distinct form of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Dancing on live coals is an old Bulgarian tradition that is still done in a few Balkan communities. The rite is done in its true form on the feast day of Saints Konstantin and Helena, which is 21 May or 3 June on the old calendar. Fire dancers prepare for their performance by spending hours trapped in a chapel, venerating the images of these two saints while listening to drumming and the sound of gaidas (Bulgarian bagpipes), a unique tune linked with fire dancing, which frequently induces trance. They execute their unique dance over fire coals in the evening. Throughout their dance, they always hold an icon of Saint Konstantin and Saint Helena aloft in both hands. Surprisingly, they never suffer injury or burns to their feet.

“Mummers” is another indigenous ritual that has spread to different communities around the globe. Mummer games are unique traditions and rituals that occur most often on New Year’s Eve and throughout Shrovetide. They are performed only by guys, who wear custom-made masks and costumes created for the occasion by each performer. At the start of each year, the mummers’ traditional dances are claimed to ward off evil spirits and devils, allowing them to embrace the new year cleaned and charged with good energy.

“Laduvane” is another fascinating tradition that takes place on New Year’s Eve, St. George’s Day, Midsummer’s Eve, and St. Lazar’s Day. Young ladies use this practice to foretell their future marriages and the men they will marry. They contact Lada, the goddess of love and family life, in order to inquire about their prospective spouses.

“Lazaruvane” is a springtime rite. It is held eight days before Easter on St. Lazar’s Day. The date changes, but it is usually the Saturday before Palm Sunday. Willow branches are harvested on this day and used to adorn the entrances of homes the next day. Then, on Palm Sunday, young maidens in villages collect flowers to form into garlands. On Saturdays, maidens congregate at the house of one of their number and dress in festive attire embellished with flowers and sprigs. Then they make their way around the community, giving blessings for good health and many crops. They are welcomed in and given modest tokens of appreciation. The practice of creating and gifting martenitsas for health and happiness at the beginning of March is perhaps the most significant emblem of Bulgaria. This is a sign of the year’s regeneration for Bulgarians, once again supposed to encourage health and prosperous crops.

In Bulgaria, customs associated with the cycle of life — birth, baptism, wedding, and death – are particularly revered. Saints’ name days, the most notable of which are St. John’s Day, St. George’s Day, and St. Dimitar’s Day, are also widely regarded throughout the nation.

Bulgarians most reverent holidays are certainly Christmas and Easter – when generations come together to celebrate, bonded by a sense of belonging to the harmonious Bulgarian family. Additionally, the first Sunday before Lent, the second Sunday before Lent, Mother’s Day, All Souls Day, and Lent are all highly regarded.

While touring the nation, travellers may encounter a variety of rituals and traditions, many of which are unique to certain areas of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria’s national flower is the rose. Rose picking, one of Bulgarians’ oldest and most ancient practices, has mostly become a tourist attraction. Carpets from the Bulgarian Renaissance are today very collectible pieces of art. Kotel, Chiprovtsi, and Samokov are the primary carpet weaving hubs. Along with traditional handicrafts, the Bulgarian people have kept a diverse variety of popular traditions and melodies.

The nation is home to a variety of architectural reserves dedicated to preserving the distinctive Bulgarian architecture of the Revival period (18th-19th century) – Koprivshtitsa, Tryavna, Bozhentsi, Zheravna, Bansko, and Melnik, to name a few. Tourists may experience Bulgarian culture and handicrafts firsthand at many ethnographic complexes, such as Etara, Zlatograd, and Old Dobrich, where locals continue to manufacture goods using traditional skills handed down from generation to generation.

The monasteries functioned as hubs of artistic and educational activity during the Bulgarian Revival. The nation still has a number of active monasteries, including Rila Monastery, Bachkovo Monastery, Troyan Monastery, Zemen Monastery, Glozhene Monastery, Kilifarevo Monastery, and Shipchenski Monastery. Additionally, our country is well-known for its long-standing national traditions of icon painting and wood carving. Samokov, Tryavna, and Bansko are the most well-known locations for icons and sculptures.

Bulgarian national dress is an integral aspect of the Bulgarian way of life and culture. Thracian, Slavonic, and old Bulgarian motifs have impacted traditional clothing styles throughout history. The fundamental component of clothing is a white shirt with long sleeves, which is worn under vests and jackets of varying designs, fabrics, and embellishments. Female national costumes are classified into four categories: single apron, double apron, tunic, and sayana, while male national costumes are classified into two categories: white-shirt and black-shirt. Each ethnic region (Dobrich, Pirin, Rhodope, Northern, Thracian, and Sofia) has distinct working, holiday, and wedding attire.

Folk music and national dances, such as the horo, play a significant role in Bulgarian culture. The violin, mandolin, kaval (flute), gaida (bagpipe), pipe, dvoyanka (double pipe), drum, and taranbuka (another percussion instrument) are commonly used to play Bulgarian national music. Bulgarian folk songs are transmitted orally from generation to generation. Internationally renowned are the groups “Cosmic Voices,” “The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices,” and the folklore ensemble “Pirin.” Bulgarian folk dances are extraordinarily vibrant modes of creative expression. They are often done by a group of individuals contacting hands in a closed or open circle, semicircle, serpentine pattern, or straight line. Participants do coordinated motions, gestures, and steps to a certain music (the horo). There are many forms of horo, depending on the rhythm and steps: the regular horo, the rachenitsa, the paydushko horo, and the improvised horo.

Bulgarian museums have priceless collections of domestic, cultural, and military artifacts; sculptures, burial steles, and monuments; masks, mosaics, and miniature statuettes of ancient gods; and a variety of other priceless exhibits.

Bulgarians have evolved and enhanced their culture throughout millennia, and they continue to do so to the current day. Bulgarians have also had cause to be proud of their literature, arts, music, and architecture in more recent times. Bulgaria’s thriving cultural calendar, which includes national and international festivals for both young and elderly, as well as various meetings, cultural events, and expositions, demonstrates this continued commitment.

Read Next...

Geography of Bulgaria
24 Jul

Bulgaria is situated in Southeast Europe, in the Balkan Peninsula’s northeastern region. Its boundaries are

Demographics of Bulgaria
24 Jul

Bulgaria has a population of 7,364,570 people, according to the 2011 census. 72.5 percent of

Lifestyle & Culture in Bulgaria
24 Jul

In what is now Bulgaria, lifestyles and civilizations have evolved over thousands of years. Bulgaria

Nature in Bulgaria
24 Jul

Bulgaria’s natural terrain is varied, including lowlands, plains, foothills and plateaus, river valleys, basins, and

Religions and languages in Bulgaria
24 Jul

Bulgarian is the country’s officially recognized language. It is also included into the country’s constitution.

Tourism in Bulgaria
24 Jul

Family holidays with children in Bulgaria Bulgaria is a tranquil and comfortable destination ideal

How To Travel To Bulgaria
24 Jul

By plane There are four international airports in Bulgaria, located in the cities of Sofia,

How To Travel Around Bulgaria
24 Jul

Bulgaria has seen an increasing number of visitors in recent years. This has necessitated the

Visa & Passport Requirements for Bulgaria
24 Jul

Bulgaria has committed to implementing the Schengen Agreement, although it has not yet done so.

Things To See in Bulgaria
24 Jul

There is a great variety of historical, natural, religious and artistic sights to see in

Things To Do in Bulgaria
24 Jul

Bulgaria has an idyllic climate. The country, which is situated on the Black Sea coast,

Food & Drinks in Bulgaria
24 Jul

Food in Bulgaria Bulgarian cuisine is representative of the cuisine of South-Eastern Europe. It

Money & Shopping in Bulgaria
24 Jul

Shopping in Bulgaria is unique. All items in the nation may be classified as imported

Festivals & Holidays in Bulgaria
24 Jul

Bulgaria is no exception; a nation steeped in culture and history will always have festivals

Traditions & Customs in Bulgaria
24 Jul

Bulgarians are incredibly friendly and very interested in talking to foreigners. Bulgarians tend to be

Culture Of Bulgaria
24 Jul

Traditional Bulgarian culture contains mainly Thracian, Slavic and Bulgarian heritage, as well as Greek, Roman,

History Of Bulgaria
24 Jul

Human activity on the territory of present-day Bulgaria dates back to the Palaeolithic. It is

Stay Safe & Healthy in Bulgaria
24 Jul

Stay safe in Bulgaria Bulgaria is generally a safe country and the people are quite