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Two legends about the origins of Bulgarias most beloved spring holiday- Baba Marta

Legends about the origin of the Bulgarian martenitsa are more than one, but they are all associated with the founder of Bulgaria – Khan Asparuh.

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Bulgarian Khan Asparuh arriving at the river Danube

According to one legend Asparuh received a gift from his sister-  a flower bouquet  strapped to the leg of a swallow with white thread. The leg of the bird was hurt by the thread and part of the white woolen thread was colored red . It is said that the swallow arrived to Khan Asparuh exactly on March 1 as he was entering the territories of soon to be Bulgaria and to this day Bulgarians wear such threads on their wrists to symbolize health and prosperity and the creation of Bulgaria.

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Pijo and Penda dolls sitting in Plovdiv city center

 

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Martenitsi

According to another legend the Bulgarian Khan Kubrat had five sons and a famously beautiful daughter – Huba. Before he died he asked his sons not to divide the land and keep Bulgaria whole. After his death however, the khans sons quickly forgot his  wise advice. They devide the land and were defeated by the leader of the Huns Khan Ashina.

He seized their land and gold and took captive the beautiful Huba. The brothers went to look for new land and their sister was left to wait for news from them. The good news that her brothers had found new land arrived to her with the spring. Khan Asparuh sent her a letter in which he said that he had found paradise south of the Danube River and he and his soldiers intended to settle there. Huba was overjoyed and fled from captivity led by the falcon, whose leg was tied with a white silk thread.

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A tree decorated with red and white martenitsi in Plovdiv

The bird showed her the way to the new land, but at this moment she was crossing the river Danube an enemy arrow pierced her body and her blood stained thread. After receiving the news that his sister is finally with him, Asparuh began to pluck strings of white and red thread and to tie them to the hands of soldiers saying: „The thread that binds us together will not be interrupted ever. We will be healthy, we will be  happy,  we will be forever Bulgarians … from this day on- March 681 year. “

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Martenitsi

Today Bulgaria celebrates the baptism of Christ with diving for the cross in ice cold waters

The baptism of Christ is one of the biggest Christian holidays in Bulgaria. With it we celebrate the baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan by St. John the Baptist.In Bulgaria the name of Saint John is pronounced `Jordan` like the river and the country.

It is believed that at the moment of baptism the Heavens „opened“ and the Holy Spirit descended upon Christ as a dove, and the sky spread voice: „This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.“

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Men dancing in a river after the cross is found

 

In Bulgaria the celebration is connected with the mystery of water, which is said to cleanse the sins of men.The purgative nature of the rituals with water of Jordanovden (St Johns day) are closely connected with the ancient cult of water and belief in its healing property they aim to banish the demonic forces and ensuring the health of people and animals.Thus restoring balance in nature and society. Jordanovden marks the last of the `dirty days` in the Bulgarian orthodox tradition it is believed that in the days after Christmas dangerous spirits roam free – the so called `besove` which means `angers`

The Bulgarian tradition is that every year on January the 6th a cross is thrown into the river of the village and local men dive into the ice-cold waters to find it. It is believed that whoever finds the cross will have luck and good health for a year.

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A diver found the cross in the freezing waters

Jordanovden is widely celebrated in bulgaria as a names day – a so called second birthday when all people who have names derived out of the mane of Saint Jordan (St John the Baptist) – Jordan, Jordanka, Danka, Dancho and also names deriving from the Bulgarian word for god – Bogdan, Bogdan, Bogolyub, Bogolyuba, Bogomil, Bojan, Bojana, Bozhidar Bozhidar of God, Boncho, Borislav, Bojan.

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Men dancing in the river in traditional Bulgarian clothing

Widespread was the belief that at midnight against Jordan the heavens open, everything lights up and the animals start to speak with human voices. It is believed that is a righteous man sees the heavens open  his every desire will be fullfilled .

However not everyone is welcome to dance in the river. In the past few years there has been rising tension between Bulgarians and gypises – a lot of the Bulgarian men who traditionally take part in the ritual are against gypsies taking part in it. They believe that the gypise men dive to find the cross only for the prize that is given to the one who finds it. Two years ago the men in Dupnitsa even made a `human fence` by holding hands as to not let the gypsies take part.

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The men in Dupnitsa are holding hands to prevent the gypsies from jumping in the water- the insisted that the money given to the winner should be given to a charity and not to just one person.

Is Bulgaria safe from terrorist attacks?

 

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Political Relations with America

Considering the resent events that happened in the world, we feel we must ensure you that Plovdiv and Bulgaria (in general) is a really safe destination. Bulgaria has just one terrorist attack in the last 25 years and it was part of the war between Israel and Palestine.

There are no active threats from radical Islamic terrorists. Plovdiv is a multicultural city, we have a huge mosque in the center of the city (one of our landmarks, that you will see during a tour) and a very peaceful muslim community.

Bulgaria is part of NATO and EU and uses the intelligence agencies of all the allied countries to protect itself from terrorists. There is a much bigger threat in visiting Greece, France, Turkey or Germany.

Happy new year from the Plovdiv Tours team!

N stands for New opportunities

E stands for Exploring
W stands for Wondering
Y stands for Yearning
E stands for Eagerness
A stands for Aspiring
R stands for Rejoicing
May your New Year be filled with adventure, excitement, and joy!

With each New Year we get a fresh, clean page to start over. Here’s hoping that life writes a beautiful new chapter for you this year.Maybe this year you will even visit Bulgarias most beautiful city- Plovdiv? Happy New Year!

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Mrs Bulgaria goes to jail for killing her husband during BDSM sex

Varna Regional Court sentenced Anita Meyzer to 3 years in prison and a fine of 150 000 leva after she pleaded guilty for the murder of her husband.

Anita in a Bulgarian TV show

52-year-old former „Miss Bulgaria“ is accused of causing the death of her husband Nikolay Dimov, as well as the proposeing a bribe of 30,000 euros to a police officer. The family of the deceased demand that Anita Meyzer also be charged with murder and to pay them 300,000 leva as a fine.

Cable tie

According to the Anita Nikolay insisted that his legs, arms and neck be tied with cable ties to prove on camera that he had the power to free himself.

Anita and her husband- he was a professional bodybuilder and 14 years younger than her

However, the prosecution announced days ago that such a video was not found.

The 40-year-old bodybuilder died on August 14 this year. Tight cable ties were found on his neck . Nikolay had managed to break the cable ties on his hands but when he attempted to free his neck from them, he tightened the noose further, lost consciousness and died on the massage table where they were conducting the BDSM experiment.

Anita Mayzer is led by a Police officer

After the death of her husband, 52-year-old Anita Meyzer has taken various actions to try to prove that she was not guilty. She invented different versions of events and during the pre-trial changed the story several times. The night of the murder she managed to dispose of purchased earlier cable ties, which were supposedly bought for home renovation.

On the day of the accident a few hours after midnight Anita reported to a police station in Varna that her husband was dead. She offered money to the police officers asking them to not let the case get to the media. Before the police arrived she made up her first version of the story- that she went to the store and when she returned, she found her husband dead and tied with ropes on the massage table.

A lot of people protested the fact that she took part in the Mrs Universe contest

During questioning Anita changed several details about what happened. When she realized that he would be arrested, she offered a bribe to a police officer. Initially € 10,000, then – € 20,000 and last – € 30,000.

The trial of Anita Mazer had a lot of media interest because of the bad reputation she already had – In 2014 she attended the contest Mrs World as Mrs Bulgaria without being elected in a pageon in her home country. She payed her hotel, clothes and flight to the USA where the pageant was held without anyone in Bulgaria suspecting that there would be a Bulgarian contestant.

Anita and her husband

„The investigation into the death of Nicholas has major flaws,“ said at the beginning of the hearing, lawyer Tomov.
He revealed that when the corpse was found, there was a wound on the nose, torn cartilage, and hematomas.
„For me, this is not death by accident ,“ said theTomov.

He said that hours after the death of her husband, the former Miss Bulgaria had $ 1,200 and passport in her purse, which according to him definitely showed that she was thinking of leaveing for the United States to avoid trial- Mayzer has both Bulgarian and US citizenships.

When interviewed Anita said:

„I’m sorry for what happened, for 4 months I have been locked up and wondering how can this happened to me – I’m the cause of death of  the person I love most .He had some strange demands  and desiers that I – as his wife- had to satisfy. I’m very sorry that the night of his death I didnt call his mother and his sister, who perhaps would have believed me then, „said Anita Meyzer to the court.

Anita is well known of being provocative and scandalous and she even has a song `Sex Intrigue`

Cellomania had an amazing concert in Old Town, Plovdiv

 

The slovak ensemble „Cellomania“ closed the Festival of light and hope in Old Town last night.

Before the start of the concert in Balabanov House, the Ambassador of Slovakia Marian Yakubotsi, Consul of the country’s Roman Roth and Director of IA „Old Town“ Minko Kaftanski decorated a tree on Christmas tree with traditional Slovak Christmas toys.

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Balabanov House where the concert was held. It is in Old town Plovdiv Bulgaria

Famous Slovak cellists Joseph Podhoranski, Evgeni Prohats and Jan Slavik amazed Plovdivs audience with their virtuoso performance.

Продължете да четете Cellomania had an amazing concert in Old Town, Plovdiv

Celebrating November the first in Bulgaria

On November the first  we celebrate the Day of National Leaders- not political ones, but leaders of the spirit. It is a day which has particular, exceptional, unique value for Bulgarians.

Image result for денят на будителите
Day of National Leaders starts to be celebrated in the difficult time of spiritual ruin and national despair after the failure in the First World War. The ideal of the Bulgarian Revival period was destroyed and our national values were at threat. At that time theleaders of Bulgaria decided to let history inspire and guide them. They seeked insiprational figures from the Bulgarian past.

Продължете да четете Celebrating November the first in Bulgaria

Plovdiv becomes friends with Hainan (China!) WooHoo!

Today we (well, we as a city- but to be exact the people doing the signing were District Governor Zdravko Dimitrov and President of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee Yu Sung ) signed a contract establishing twin-regional relations with the Chinese province Hainan. The agreement was signed in the Hall of the Regional Administration Plovdiv.

Image result for hainan map
Hainan is an island

The partnership with Hainan Province aims to expand cooperation between the two countries and promote mutual understanding between the peoples of Bulgaria and China, reported the press office of the District Administration.

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For the twelfth time Plovdiv holds its traditional „Night of museums and galleries.“

For the twelfth time Plovdiv holds its traditional „Night of museums and galleries.“

night of the museums
night of the museums

The event is held on two consecutive days – on 23 and 24 September (Friday and Saturday), and the program includes more than 140 exhibitions, concerts, tours, architectural sites, screenings, lectures, meetings with artists, parties and more.

Продължете да четете For the twelfth time Plovdiv holds its traditional „Night of museums and galleries.“

Hristo Stoychkov – a beloved Bulgarian football player

Stoichkov is probably one of the best football players in the world.
He is known all over the world for his unique style.He became a sensation with FC Barcelona and eventually one of their most legendary players.


There are many documentaries that will show you how great he was as a player, but we want to show you the character that made him one of the best football players who ever lived.

Hristo Stoyichkov
To be a great leader you have to know where you started from. Besides being one of the best,  Stoichkov never passed an invitation
to play for the Bulgarian national team. That gave him one of the best moments in his career:

Продължете да четете Hristo Stoychkov – a beloved Bulgarian football player

Travel Bulgaria with Plovdiv Tours- Best guided tours in Plovdiv