Traditional Bulgarian

Customs and traditions in Bulgaria.

June 26, 2018
bulgarian food

Bulgarian Food | What to eat in Bulgaria | Traditional Dishes

If you are a passionate traveler, a large part of your foreign cultural exploration is undoubtedly food… or in this case – Bulgarian food. One cannot truly understand the life of the other if they don’t mix things up with the local cuisine. You haven’t been to Bulgaria unless you’ve tried Bulgarian food Spicing up your trip with new flavors is a must and Bulgaria is the country where it can get real messy, saucy, cheesy, steaming hot in a clay pot or simply delicious! Bulgaria is a country that will never leave you hungry for two reasons.  Firstly, there is the wealth of food for all tastes and secondly, Bulgarians are the kind of people that will always make sure your plate has been filled at least 3 times, and your belt loosened by at least 2 holes. Banitza Undoubtedly, our number one dish is banitsa. This queen of Bulgarian specialties is a pastry usually stuffed with cheese but there are plenty of other versions for the adventurous type […]
June 18, 2018
bulgarian wine

Bulgarian Wine – History, Local Sorts, Must-Trys, Wine Regions

“The discovery of a wine is of greater moment than the discovery of a constellation” once said the famous American politician and scientist Benjamin Franklin. With this post we plan to help you discover a whole new universe. Please don’t leave Bulgaria without trying a couple of glasses of wine! History of Bulgarian Wine Bulgarians have a long history in winemaking. This is something we inherited from everybody that once inhabited our territory – Thracians, Romans, Byzantines etc. They were all famous for being good wine connoisseurs. From the archaeologists we know that the Thracians had many rituals dedicated to the God Zagreus (or Dionysus as the Greeks call him or Bacchus as the Romans know him) – the God of Wine who inspired some of their most important cults. Images associated with the harvesting of grapes and winemaking are found on pottery, murals and mosaics in residential and public buildings. Even in some tombs. At the end of the 19 century this tradition grew and developed as a professional […]
May 8, 2018
ten lesser known churches in Sofia

10 Lesser Known Churches in Sofia Worth Visiting

Willing to go the extra mile and explore Sofia’s lesser known churches? If so, then this post is for you. For over 7 years we have been showing the main landmarks of Sofia to thousands of visitors from all around the world.  Our daily Free Sofia Tour takes you around all the main and most important landmarks in the center of the city. This includes the most popular temples in Sofia such as the St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the Russian Church, St Nedelya Church and many more. However, there’s much more to Sofia and that’s why we have created a list of some of our favorite lesser known churches in the city! 1. Church of St Paraskeva (Света Параскева – Sveta Paraskeva) Despite being the third largest church in Sofia the church of St Paraskeva is often ignored by both tourists and locals. You can find it in a quiet part of the center. It is definitely one of Sofia’s gems. The church dates back to 1930. There are residential buildings […]
March 18, 2018
Easter in Bulgaria

Easter in Sofia

Happy Easter! Hi all, spring is here! This lovely season brings the great Christian celebration – Easter (in bulgarian Великден; Velikden – Great Day). If you have already planned the Easter holidays and Sofia is part of your plan you will have the chance to attend our Free Sofia Tour. Do we rest on Easter?  – No! We will be waiting for you in front of the Palace of Justice at 11:00 and 18:00 to show you how awesome our city is. Easter in Bulgaria Bulgaria being a largely Christian Orthodox country celebrates Easter according to the Julian calender instead of the Gregorian calendar, used by many western countries. Therefore, the date when bulgarians celebrate Easter is often later than the one celebrated in Western Europe. Here is when Easter will be celebrated in Bulgaria. In 2018, Bulgarians will celebrate on the 8th of April. Well, since you are coming to Bulgaria this spring, you should know about our two most common Easter traditions –  Egg fight and the delicious sweet bread […]
February 8, 2016
Kukeri - An old and scary Bulgarian tradition - Kukeri

Kukeri – An old and scary Bulgarian tradition

The unknown Kukeri carnival You have probably heard of the carnivals of Rio or Venice. If you do some research, you will undoubtedly encounter theories, attributing the origin of the carnival tradition to Roman and Greek pagan traditions. Some of them will mention a connection to Bacchus/Dionysus, a Thracian and Greek god of wine. However, what you may not know is that we also have a carnival of our own. It is dedicated to the exact same deity. We call it Kukeri and it’s one of the most ancient pagan traditions we still follow to date. When is the Kukeri carnival happening? Every year in January and February (depending on the region) in towns and villages around the country Bulgarians and foreign guests gather to enjoy this special kind of festival. The kukeri, traditionally men only, are the protagonists in this ancient mystery. They form a procession through the streets and perform ritual dances dressed in their handmade costumes. The scarier the outfit, the better, as the goal of the whole rite is to chase away the evil spirits […]
December 24, 2015
Christmas or New Year - Communist take

5 Bulgarian Christmas facts and traditions

It is winter and for the Bulgarians it is the time for celebrations. Back in the day when most of  us were dealing with agriculture and livestock breeding there was a lot of free time during the winter. Back  during that time the winter would start with Dimitrovden  (St Dimitar’s Day) and ends about Gergiovden (St. George’s day).  During the winter we celebrate tons of days dedicated to Saints and name days, as well as Christmas. Christmas is one of the most loved holidays in Bulgaria and a very popular time of the year when families get together. In Bulgaria just like everywhere else around the globe the Cristmas spirit is here and we are ready for celebrating. Here are some of the most popular facts and traditions about Christmas in Bulgaria: 1. We celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December. Bulgarians are mainly Eastern Orthodox, but we follow the Gregorian calender and we have Christmas on the 25th of December. 2. Christmas in Bulgaria lasts three days!  starting on […]
May 19, 2015
Carpets Making - The tradition of Chiprovtsi | Free Sofia Tour

The tradition of Chiprovtsi Carpets Making

The Bulgarian local tradition of carpets making is still kept in two major regions of the country The northwest regions, with centres at Chiprovtsi and Samokov, and the east, at Kotel, keep the tradition alive. The famous Bulgarian carpet center has unique value for the local community and the region itself, but also receives worldwide recognition worthy of its quality. Since November 26th, at the ninth session of UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Chiprovtsi carpet weaving was entered as the third Bulgarian element recorded in the World Representative List of the Elements of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Chiprovtsi Carpets Making: The handwoven carpets (kilimi) are made by the women of Chiprovtsi They are using an unique technique of weaving on a vertical handloom. The weaver takes several threads of the warp with her left hand, interlaces the weft yarn into the warp and uses a small beater to tighten the weave. The women say prayers and make wishes for luck and success before starting a […]
April 2, 2015
bulgarian phrases

Common Bulgarian Phrases

Translating from Bulgarian to English is usually really easy and there are no problems in understanding the meaning. But when you have to translate something figuratively, this is when it gets really funny. Today we have prepared for you some tissues, because you will laugh to tears at the end of this blogpost. This time we will introduce you to the most famous Bulgarian phrases we use in our everyday life, which probably have no meaning and can hardly be translated into English, but on the other hand are quite stunning for foreigners. If you happen to learn some of them you will easily amaze all your Bulgarian friends. Bulgarian Phrases trasnlated figuratively: Как я караш?  – How do you drive her? Meaning “How are you doing?” Всичко е ток и жица! – Everything is electricity and cable! Meaning that everything is OK, or even better than that (usually follows “How do you drive her?”) Мани, мани! – Remove, remove! This is used when something is wrong and you don’t like […]
February 27, 2015
Baba Marta and the Martenitsa

Baba Marta and the Martenitsa – an old Bulgarian tradition

One of the most ancient traditions in Bulgaria is called “Baba Marta” (literally – “Grandma March”). It is a pagan tradition and we celebrate it on 1st of March. The symbol of this tradition is the martenitsa (link to wikipedia).  The martenitsa is a piece of decoration in red and white, which has two main versions. The traditional one consists of two little dolls – Pizho, the male, is red and Penda, the female, is white. You would usually pin this on your clothes. The other version is a bracelet, made of one red and one white thread, which you can put on your hand. The colors of the martenitsa symbolize Bulgarian beliefs: white is for good health and red is for fertility and to scare away the bad spirits. On March 1 you exchange martenitsa with everybody that you know: family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances. When you give them the decoration you wish them everything you want to happen to them during the year. You recieve the martenitsi everyone gives you and you wear them till […]