Hi all, spring is here! This lovely season brings the great Christian celebration – Easter (in bulgarian Великден; Velikden – Great Day).
Bulgaria being largely a 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 often doesn’t coincide with the one celebrated in Western Europe. Here is when Easter will be celebrated in Bulgaria. In 2023, Bulgarians will celebrate on the 16th of April.
If you happen to be in Bulgaria this spring, you should know about our two most common Easter traditions – Egg fight and the delicious sweet bread – Kozunak.
In Bulgaria we don’t hide and search for the Easter eggs and we don’t have the Easter bunny compared to many Western countries. Here we color eggs on Thursday or Saturday before the holiday. The first dyed egg should always be red – a symbol of health.
Usually, if you are in Sofia and want to attend a typical Orthodox service, the best idea would be to go in front of the Alexander Nevski Cathedral. The service starts at 11pm on Holy Saturday. It is one of the largest religious celebrations in the country and definitely a unique experience. Keep in mind that due to the coronavirus crisis access to churches will be very limited and local authorities advise that people avoid mass religious gatherings.
And then on Sunday, after the services are over – we fight! =)
Kozunak is one of the most delicious Bulgarian traditions. It is a sweet bread. Main ingredients are: milk, yeast, eggs, butter, sugar. Lemon zest could be added as well, along with raisins, nuts and chocolate. You can buy one everywhere during springtime and you should definately try it.
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Want to learn more about Bulgarian customs and traditions? Do not hesitate to join one of our daily sightseeing city tours.