If you are walking on the main street of Plovdiv you will notice a bronze statue of a man sitting on the steps infront of the Bar Kaligula, this is Milio , one of Plovdivs symbolic figures.
Brandes by some as a „harmless crazy“ he lived in the city in the sixties and was a famous gossip. The legend goes that he knew the gossips of the whole town and told them to everyone interested (and occasionaly uninterested) in them.
He was a muse for several famous Bulgarian artists, most notably the world famous Zlatio Boyadjiev.
Today is the Night of the Museums and Galleries!
Is anyone else excited about it?
In the ninth edition of the event part will take The archeological museum, The ethnographic museum, The regional museum of history and many more.
Plovdiv tours recommends that you just go to the city centre tonight, get a brochure (there are brochures in |English too) and a map and start exploring!
Remember, tonight all museums and galleries work late and there is no entrance fee!
Dont forger to visit the official page for more details!
If you are visiting plovdiv on the 24th if March you will have the oportunity to see how we, Bulgarians celebrate the creation of our alphabet by the brothers and Bulgarian Saints Cyril and Methody.
The brothers Cyril and Methody were born in Thessaloniki (today in Greece) but they practiced missionary work in the middle east and the Slavic countries. They created the first alphabet used in Slavic manuscripts – the Glagolic alphabet. Later on they created the more elaborate Cyrillic alphabet named after one of the brothers.
The creation of the Cyrillic alphabet marks a great point in Bullgarian history.
They were the first to translate the Bible in Slavic which was historicly very important for all the Slavic countries because until then only those who knew Hebrew, Latin оr Greek could read the Bible or understand the sermons (which until then were held in Greek, although the population did not speak the language). The creation of the alphabet held an extremely important role for the separation and distinction of the Bulgarian church from the Greek one.
The day of the brother saints is celebrated by Bulgarian pupil, students teachers and universities. There are Processions on the main streets of towns, flowers are put in front the statues of the saints and many schools hold recitals
During those celebrations the Anthem of the Brothers Cyrill and Methody is sung and you can hear it here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLcqe368uik
Did you know that on the 6th of May Bulgaria celebrates the day of the Christian Saint George?
It is a national holiday, and also the day we, Bulgarians , celebrate the Valiance of the of the Bulgarian Army.
During the Communist days of Bulgaria the day was celebrated as a day of the shepard.
The day of Saint George is one of the most celebrated holidays in Bulgaria, not only because it is in the beginning of spring, but also because George is one of the most common Bulgarian names.It is estimated that more than 180 thousand men in Bulgaria are named George (Georgi). On the same day women named Gergana ( the female version of the name Georgi) celebrate too.
The day of saint George was really important for Bulgarians in the past. It was believed that he helps the crops grow and blesses the morning dew, so early in the morning they walked in the pastures and meadows and collected dew, washed their face, hands and feet in it for good luck and even in some rural parts of Bulgaria it was a custom to roll in it naked.
It is also believed that on Saint Georges day herbs have special magical powers and that it was the best day to break evil spells and make good fertility spells. It was a custom (a somewhat barbaric one ) that every Christian home should kill a lamb.The lamb to be offered was picked in different ways- some picked the firs lamb to be born that year, some the first to go out of the barn, some the first white or black lamb etc. Then the lamb was fed with bread, salt, fresh grass and herbs. It was given holy water to drink and sometimes a priest blessed it.
In different parts of Bulgaria there were different customs about where the lamb should be killed.
Some believed that it should be killed in the home, to bring prosperity to the family, others that it should be killed in the fields as an offering to God and as a prayer that the crops would be good.
Nowadays although seldom families kill their own lambs it is a custom to cook lamb and gather the whole family around the table on Saint Georges day.
Plovdiv was given various names throughout its long history. It was originally a settlement by the name of Eumolpias, named after the mythical Thracian king Eumolpos. When Philip II of Macedonia conquered the area he renamed the city Philippoupolis. The Thracian name for the city, Pulpudeva, is a translation. After the Romans took control of the area, the city was named in latin :Trimontium, meaning the Three Hills. The slavic name occurred in different variants, Pəldin (Пълдин), Pləpdiv (Плъпдив) and Ploudin (Плоудин), based on the city’s later thracian name Pulpudeva, while the current variant Plovdiv was documented (as Пло(в)дївь) for the first time in a Bulgarian apocryphal chronicle of the 11th century. The city was known as Philippopolis in Western Europe well into the early 20th century. The city was known as Filibe in turkish during the Ottoman Empire and the name is still in use in Turkish.
Just like the city the river Maritsa (which is the longest river in Bulgaria) has changed names through the years. The oldest known name of the river is Rombus. In the antiquity it was also known as Habar, Hbrus, Evros,Ebrus,Marizo and its earliest mention as `Maritza` is in the 7th cencurywhere she is mentioned by the Byzantine historian Pahimer.