Bulgaria: Holidays. National customs, climate
There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date but are based on the location of Easter. Easter takes place on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent, which ends on Holy Saturday and is 46 days before Holy Saturday. The date for Pentecost is then 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints’ Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st. On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.
|January 1||New Year|
|3 March||National holiday|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|May 6||Armed Forces Day|
|May 24||Bulgarian Culture and Literature Day|
|September 6||Bulgarian Unity Day|
|September 22||independence Day|
Source: Countryaah – Bulgaria Holidays
|January||January 6: Jordan day (feast day of John the Baptist)Kukeri: mask and carnival games
January 7: Ivan day (kinship day and groomsmen day)
January 8: midwives day
|February||February 1: Trifon Saresan (spring festival)February 23: Kukeri day (costume festival)|
|March||March 1: SpringFestival of Russian Music Festival|
|April||Music Festival in BurgasApril 4th: Zwetnitsa (Festival of Flowers)|
|May||Children’s choir meeting in BurgasSatirefestival in Gabrovo
Music weeks in Sofia
Festival in the Strandschagebirge
May choir festival in Varna
|June||Rose Festival in KazanlakChamber Music Festival and Opera Festival in Plovdiv
Festival in Russe Festival of Roma
Music in Stara Zagora Music Festival in Varna
|August||Jazz festival in BanskoFolklore festival in Burgas
Folklore festival in Koprivschtiza
Folklore festival in Plovdiv
Music festivals in Varna until September
|September||Chamber music festival in GabrovoPuppet theater festival in Plovdiv
festival in Sunny Beach Cultural festival in Sozopol
Plum festival in Trojan
17th September: Day of Faith, Hope and Love
|October||Jazz Festival in Ruse Varna Film Festival October 14: Petkovden (St. Petka’s Day)|
|December||December 6th: St. NicholasDay December 9th: St. Anne’s Day|
The negative is often expressed in Bulgaria by nodding the head.
Shaking your head, on the other hand, can mean approval.
The ideas of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depend on a number of factors. Pure cultural travelers certainly see the climate differently than people who want to spend a pure beach holiday, for example. The state of health or age can also play an important role. Therefore, our travel time recommendations are divided into the following two categories:
For sun seekers
For people who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause any problems, the following seasons are particularly suitable for a stay in the country: Summer.
For people who prefer
a temperate climate People who prefer a temperate climate and lower temperatures should better use the following seasons to stay in Bulgaria: spring, autumn.
The following table shows a range of climate data for the country.
|Month||Average number of rainy days||Mean maximum temperatures in (°C)||Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)|
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that BG stands for the nation of Bulgaria as a two-letter acronym.
Special places and buildings
Old town of Nessebar
Nessebar’s old town is definitely worth a visit. It is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List. (see above)
It is considered the most beautiful secular house in the Bulgarian city of Trjavna and was built in 1804. The building has two intricately carved wooden ceilings.
The architecture of the buildings in the village is unique in Bulgaria and dates from the 16th to 18th centuries. The most impressive house in Arbanassi is the Konstanzalievhaus, a residential and farm building of a trader.
The small village near Gabrovo was declared an architectural and historical reserve in 1964. Around a hundred buildings give an almost original impression from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The village, which is completely under monument protection, has had an almost unchanged appearance since the 18th and 19th centuries.
Schiroka Laka village
Anyone interested in rural architecture should visit this “open-air museum”, which is a listed building.
The house is in Melnik and dates from 1754. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in the country and is richly decorated with wood carvings, stucco work and wall paintings.
Museums and other cultural assets
Archaeological Museum – Burgas
Objects from the 6th millennium to the 15th century are shown here.
National Archaeological Museum – Sofia
It gives a comprehensive overview of the country’s history.
Perperikon Fortress – Kardzhali
This medieval fortress covers an area of 12,000 square meters and was built on a sacred place of the Thracians.
House of Humor and Satire – Gabrovo
The house shows countless photos, paintings, writings and costumes from more than 150 countries. The most diverse types of humor are discussed.
Agir Kujumdschioglu’s house – Plovdiv
The house is home to the Ethnographic Museum with objects of Bulgarian folk art.
Historical Museum – Kardschali
In the museum you get an insight into the eight thousand year settlement and cultural history of the region.
Historical Museum – Pleven
Around 180,000 exhibits from human history are currently on display here.
Historical Museum – Vraza
It houses a remarkable collection of the settlement history of the region.
Icon Museum – Bansko
The icon museum, which is well worth seeing, is housed in a former convent and shows works of the famous Bansko school.
Etar museum village – near Gabrovo
The village museum provides a comprehensive impression of the architecture, handicrafts and culture of the 18th and 19th centuries.
National History Museum – Sofia
It shows around 500,000 exhibits on the history and culture of the country.
Natural History Museum – Burgas
The museum provides an overview of the flora and fauna of the region.
Ruin of the Roman Theater – Plovdiv
The ruin is still used as a stage and is an impressive backdrop.
Tichoto Gnesdo Castle – Balchik
This is the former summer residence of the Romanian Queen Maria. It dates from the 1920s and was built by Italian architects. The castle is adorned with a small minaret that once encouraged speculation about the Queen’s Muslim lover.
Synagogue – Burgas
The former Jewish house of worship now houses an art gallery with works by Bulgarian artists.
Churches, monasteries and mosques
Alexander Nevski Cathedral – Sofia
It was built between 1882 and 1912 and – located on the highest point of the city – with its golden dome is visible from afar. The cathedral was built in honor of the Russian people after the liberation from Ottoman rule. In the basement there is an iconic collection that is worth seeing and contains around 200 works.
Batschkovkloster – near Plovdiv
The very beautiful building from the 11th century spreads out against the most picturesque natural backdrop.
The Nativity of Christ Church – Arbanassi
It was built in the 16th century. The interior of the church is colorfully painted with over 3,500 figures from church history and offers a unique impression.
Archangel Church – Trjavna
This three-aisled hall church from 1819 was built on the site of a previous church that was destroyed by the Ottomans.
Church of Sveta Bogorodiza – Bansko
There are many icons and paintings in the church.
Church of Sveta Sofia – Sofia
This church is the namesake of the city. Its first construction dates back to the 4th century. However, it has been redesigned and expanded several times over the course of history. In the 16th century, the Ottomans converted it into a mosque, which is no longer visible today.
Peter and Paul Church – Veliko Tarnovo
The church dates from the 13th century and was once the scene of the liberation from the supremacy of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Preobrazhenski Monastery – near Veliko Tarnovo
It was founded in the 14th century. After its destruction by the Ottomans in the 19th century, the monks of the convent took part in the uprisings against Ottoman rule.
Roschenkloster – near Melnik
The monastery was built in the 12th and 13th centuries. Numerous wall paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries adorn the stone and black wood building.
Round Church – Preslav
The Christian rotunda from the 10th century catches the eye despite its ruinous condition. The rotunda measures 11 m in diameter and is divided into twelve niches with twelve massive pillars.
Stefanskirche – Nessebar
It dates from the 10th century, but was rebuilt and expanded in the following centuries. It houses well-preserved wall paintings from the 16th century. The old town of Nessebar is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Trojankloster – Trojan
The third largest monastery in the country (after Rila and Batschkovo) was founded in the 17th century and from the outside looks more like a fortress than a monastery.
Pantocrator Church – Nessebar
The sacred building goes up to the 13th/14th. Century back and is a highlight of Bulgarian medieval architecture. The cross-domed church has three apses and a rectangular tower. The masonry is made from an alternation of brick and natural stone. The old town of Nessebar is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Tombulmosque – Shumen
It is considered the most beautiful monument from the time of the Ottoman rule and dates back to 1744.
Graves from the 5th millennium BC Chr.
Approximately 294 graves west of Varna included alongside skeletons and grave goods of the oldest gold treasure in the world with over 3,000 objects.
Ruins of the former Bulgarian capital Pliska
North of Shumen are the ruins of the city of Pliska. The city was founded in 681 and destroyed by Byzantium in 811. Remnants of the foundation give an impression of the former city.
Ruins of the Roman thermal baths
You can admire them in Varna and date from the 2nd to 4th centuries. The ruins give a good impression of the bath culture of the ancient Romans.
Batscho-Kiro Cave – near Gabrovo
This cave is a large system of corridors and halls with impressive stone formations. Finds from the Stone Age show that people found shelter there even then.
Mountains of the Rhodope Mountains
This is another very beautiful nature area with 15 nature reserves.
Iscar breakthrough – near Vraza This breakthrough is
between 60 and 200 meters high and between 200 and 500 meters long. The rocky cliffs offer a paradise for climbing fans.
Kamchija Biosphere Reserve – near Varna
The large swamp area is under nature protection.
Magura Cave – near Vidin
It is one of the most historically important of its kind in Bulgaria. The cave was once a refuge for people 100,000 to 40,000 years ago. Important rock paintings testify to the society of that time.
Marine Park – Varna
It houses a small zoo, a natural history museum and an aquarium.
Pirin Mountains Nature Reserve
It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and includes a spectacular mountain and peaks landscape. (see above)
These are the highest mountains on the Balkan Peninsula with an altitude of up to 3,000 m.
Stone forest – near Varna
This is a geological natural phenomenon. Numerous stone pillars about 3 m thick and 5 m high protrude from the ground. They originated around 50 million years ago.
It is located near Sofia and is a popular winter sports area.
Wild landscape of Belogradchik
The landscape is particularly impressive with its red rock formations and the huge forest. A fascinating natural spectacle!
The Danube is the longest river in Bulgaria, which forms the border with Romania over a length of around 500 km.
The beginning of the Danube is at Donaueschingen, where the Brigach and the Breg together and from there form the Danube. At 48 km, the Breg is the longer of the two source rivers and rises at an altitude of 1,078 m near the Martinskapelle near Furtwangen in the southern Black Forest. From here to the mouth of the Danube in the Black Sea, its length is 2,888 km. The second source river, the Brigach, has its source in the Brigach Valley near St. Gallen, also in the southern Black Forest. It is 42.7 km long to the confluence. Its length to the Austrian border is 687 km. The Danube then flows through Austria (357 km), Slovakia (172 km), Hungary (417 km), Serbia (587) and Romania (1,075). For the following countries, the Danube forms the border with its neighbors over a length of around 1,070 km as a border river, these are: Croatia (border with Serbia for about 135 km), Bulgaria (border with Romania), Moldova (border with Romania for only about 570 m) and Ukraine (border with Romania). It flows into the Black Sea in Romania in an approx. 8,000 km² large Dalta. The following larger cities are located on the Danube, in alphabetical order.
The following major or well-known rivers flow into the Danube:
|Right tributaries||Left tributaries|
s: UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Boyana Church in Sofia (1979)
Boyana Church is located in the medieval Boyana fortress not far from Sofia.
This Orthodox church combines three churches, the oldest part being a small cross-domed church from the 11th century.
In 1259, a two-story building was erected on its western wall, which served as the chapel of the founder (Sebastokrator Kalojan) and his family.
A new vestibule was last built in 1882, but it is of no great architectural importance. However, the church has become famous above all for its well-preserved frescoes, which come from three different epochs, namely from the 11th, 13th and 14th centuries. The best known date from the year 1259. These paintings show numerous saints on the walls in a very human way.
Jesus is depicted and 18 scenes depict the life of St. Nicholas.
The oldest depiction of St. Ivan Rilski can also be admired here.
The church complex was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.
Rock relief of the rider of Madara (1979)
This relief, probably from the 7th century AD, is located on the rock plateau Madara on an approximately 100 meter high cliff near the village of Madara in the northeast of the country.
An important place of worship of the First Bulgarian Empire was located here.
On the relief you can see a rider fighting a lion – at a height of 23 m above the ground. A dog can be recognized as the rider’s companion. Of great interest are the inscriptions on stone near the relief, in which the rulers of the 8th and 9th centuries – the khans – report on their triumphs against Byzantium.
The rock relief was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979
Rock Churches of Ivanovo (Iwanowo) (1979)
The churches are located in a cave system – the first monk cells were built in the 12th century. The caves were created in the rocks on the bank of the Rusensky Lom River. They are a complex of Orthodox churches, chapels and monastery rooms near the eponymous village of Iwanowo – around 20 km southwest of the city of Ruse.
The religious center of the complex is probably the rock church “Peschterata”.
The church has a length of 16 m, a width of 4 m and a height of 2.15 m and is therefore considered to be very small. In the frescoes of the church, motifs from the life of old Syrian Christian hermits are depicted, but also “The betrayal of Judas” or “Rauten bring myrrh”
The rock-hewn churches were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979
Thracian tomb of Kazanlak (1979)
The Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak is located near the ancient Thracian city of Seuthopolis in central Bulgaria. It is a so-called “beehive grave” in the middle of a Thracian necropolis. On the walls of the burial chamber are wall paintings from the 4th century BC. On which a funeral service can be seen, among other things.
The Thracian Tomb was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979.
Rila Monastery (1983)
This monastery near Rila is the symbol of the Orthodox religion in Bulgaria and is an important place of pilgrimage. It is located approx. 125 km south of Sofia and covers an area of around 8,800 m².
The beginnings of the monastery date back to the 10th century, but the monastery experienced its heyday in the 14th century. The Chreljo Tower in the inner courtyard of the complex was built between 1333 and 1334 and named after its founder, the feudal lord Chreljo Dragolow.
Nearby was a smaller single-nave church from 1332 that was looted and burned down in the 18th century. A deed of gift from the last Bulgarian tsar – Ivan Schischman () – from 1378 has been preserved. After the bones of Saint Ivan Rilski () were brought here from Tarnowo in 1469, the monastery began to boom.
In the years 1817–1848, during the national awakening of the Bulgarians, intensive construction work took place in the monastery complex. The old church was demolished and replaced by the monastery church “Sweta Bogorodiza”.
The monastery was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983.
Pirin National Park (1983)
The park is located in the extreme southwest of the country and is located in the mountains of the same name.
The area is approx. 40,000 ha = 400 km².
The park also includes the 2,914 m high Wichren – the highest mountain peak in the Pirin Mountains. The park is known for its 175 funnel lakes, of which Lake Popowi is the largest with an area of 12.4 hectares.
Almost 80% of the park is covered with forest.
You can find hornbeams, white pines, black pines, mountain pines and junipers in the forest.
The “European Natural Heritage” foundation (Euronatur) is running a project to protect wolves in the park. Bears, deer, foxes, wild cats and eagles also live here.
The national park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983. In 2010, this world natural heritage was expanded to include a high mountain area.
Old town of Nessebar (1983)
The city of Nessebar is located near Burgas on the Black Sea on a picturesque rocky peninsula.
The old town of Nessebar was set up as an open-air museum for urban architecture.
The old town is surrounded by a Byzantine fortress wall.
The first settlers of the city were Thracians, who lived here 3 millennia BC. Already settled. In the 6th century BC The Greeks built a new city on the foundations of the former Thracian city. Nesebar became an important trading center in the Black Sea region and the eastern Mediterranean. In 72 BC The city was conquered by the Romans, the supremacy in the Mediterranean area was lost and the city became meaningless.
It was not until the 7th century AD that the city regained its reputation.
The fortifications were expanded, basilicas and churches were built and Nessebar became a naval base. One of the city’s sights is the fortress wall from the 4th and 5th centuries, which was built on the foundations of the Hellenistic city of the 5th and 4th centuries BC. Was built.
You can also find buildings from the time of the Bulgarian rebirth in the 18th and 19th centuries, churches that survived Turkish rule, restored windmills, the ruins of the “Old Metropolitan Church” from the 5th/6th centuries. Century, the Johanes Aliturgetos Church above the sea, a cross-domed building built in the 14th century and the basilica by the sea.
The houses were built in a style known as the Black Sea style.
The ground floor consists of thick stone walls, while the floors above are made of wood.
The old town was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983
Srebarna Biosphere Reserve (1983)
The Srebarna Biosphere Reserve is located in the northeast of the country on the Danube and has a total area of approx. 9 km².
The area is particularly important for migratory birds because they can overwinter here.
It is also a breeding and nesting place for almost 100 different bird species.
The protected area was endangered by the construction of a dam above the Danube, the area was no longer flooded and threatened to dry out. Pelicans were particularly endangered. Different species of reptiles and amphibians live here.
The water of the Srebarna lake has an area of approx. 1 km², the reed area about 4 km², there are also grass areas and swamps on and in which numerous birds such as herons, red-necked geese, cormorants and others live.
The biosphere reserve was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983
Thracian tomb of Sveshtari (1985)
The Thracian grave of Sveshtari is located near Isperich – about 40 km northeast of Razgrad in the northeast of the country. It wasn’t discovered until 1982.
It dates from the 3rd century BC. This grave complex belongs to a large Thracian necropolis, which has only been partially excavated so far. Sculptures were found there that served as columns or pillars and that bear human and vegetable features. The technical term in architecture for these sculptures is caryatids.
The tomb was built from limestone blocks without any binding agents. The facility consists of a total of three rooms, which are covered with cylinder-shaped semicircular arches. The central burial chamber has a height of around 4.5 m
The Thracian Tomb was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.
Old beech forests and primeval beech forests (2017)
The ancient beech forests of the Carpathian Mountains (Slovakia) and other regions of Europe were added to the list of UNESCO natural heritage sites in 2007.
The Carpathian Mountains extend primarily over Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania.
In 2011 the natural heritage was expanded to include five beech forest areas in Germany. The European beech (Fagus sylvatica) is only native to Europe and is of particular importance for the European temperate deciduous forests.
In July 2017, at the UNESCO meeting in Krakow in Poland, the world heritage was expanded by 63 areas in 10 countries, namely in Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, Croatia, Austria, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and the Ukraine.