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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.

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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.

Paisii Hilendarski – a beloved Bulgarian hero – is on the two lev banknote

The initiative to  introduce such a celebration for the first time started from a group of teachers (from Plovdiv, of course) at the end of the school year of 1908-1909

Since none of our Bulgarian National Revival heroes were canonized  as a saint, the teachers decided to celebrate the Day of National leaders on 19 October when tribute to the memory of the heavenly protector of the Bulgarians – St. John of Rila.

St John Of Rila- The Bulgarian Saint protector of the country

After the establishment of the Gregorian calendar by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church the date moved to November 1- which corresponds to October 19 in the church Julian calendar.
On 31.10. 1922 The Council of Ministers issued a decree which legalized November 1 as the Day of National Leaders. Every year the celebration begins with a church service at „St. Al. Nevsky „in the presence of top officials headed by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Education, Minister of War, passes the Palace and ends at“ Sv. Nedelya „. Similar parades and events, but with the participation of local dignitaries celebrate the Day of Enlighteners and in all the  major cities in Bulgaria.

 

St Nedelya
St Alexander Nevsky in Sofia

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