In Bulgarian the name of this holiday can be translated as `The day of the Men who Awakened us`. Those are men who helped restore the lost Bulgarian traditions and culture during the Revival period after the Bulgarian liberation from the Ottoman Empire. We celebrate our famous and beloved tsars, writers and revolutionaries without which our country would not look the way it looks today. In the rest of this article, the first of november will be called `The day of national leaders.`
The Day of National Leaders arises in the difficult time of spiritual ruin and national despair after the failure in the First World War. The destruction of the Renaissance ideal of many Bulgarians led to the disintegration of our national values. At that time the Bulgarians choose historical experience to guide them. They look into the brightest names of Bulgarian spiritual past and seek contact with those who proved themselves worthy in times of advercity.
Yoasaf Bdinski, Gregory Tsamblak Constantine Kostenechki Vladislav the Grammarian, pop Peyo, Matthew Grammarian, Sv. Ivan Rilski, Neofit Bozveli brothers Dimitar and Konstantin Miladinov, Georgi S. Rakovski, Vasil Levski, Hristo Botev, Ivan Vazov, Stefan Karadzha, Hadji Dimitar Karavelov, Dobri Chintulov and hundreds of supporters of the Bulgarian culture.
The initiative for introducing such a celebration for the first time starting from a group of teachers from Plovdiv, the end of school year 1908-1909 Since none of the Bulgarian National Revival was not canonized a saint, the teachers decided to celebrate the Day of educated persons on October 19, when tribute to the memory of the heavenly protector of Bulgaria – St. John of Rila. After the establishment of the Gregorian calendar as a state in 1916, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church does not carry out repair of the church calendar and continues to carry out the ministry to the Julian calendar, according to which the day November 1 in the state calendar corresponds to October 19 in the church Julian calendar, which is Day of St. Reverend John Rila.
On this day just decided to pay tribute to all of the Bulgarian National Revival of Plovdiv to the heroes of Ilinden Uprising.
As the first person who stood up for Bulgarian culture during the Bulgarian yoke is celebrated Paisii Hilendarski, who is celebrated in Bulgaria as a saint. More than two centuries and a half ago, in 1762, Paisii wrote his small booklet- “ History of Bulgarianslavs.“ which is still studied in schools . His first follower was Sofronii Vratsansky helped spread it and made it available to more people.This helped immensly the Bulgarian nation, because in these difficult times for the Bulgarians, he wrote books about education and political liberation from the Turkish yoke.
In 1922 Stoyan Omarchevski, Minister of Education of Bulgaria submited a proposal to the Council of Ministers for determination of November 1 Day of the Bulgarian national leaders. It was first celebrated in Plovdiv in 1909, and from 1922 to 1945 is a national holiday. Since 1945 the festival had been canceled after a long break, the Law supplementing the Labour Code, passed by the 36th National Assembly on October 28, 1992, resumed the tradition of celebration. First of November was officially declared a Day of National Leaders and non-working day for all schools in the country.