It’s the Day of Bulgarian Culture!

Happy Day of Bulgarian Culture!

It’s the Day of Bulgarian Culture! Photo credit: Mark Ahsmann, Wikipedia.

On 24 May, Bulgaria celebrates Saints Cyril and Methodius Day, officially known under the longish name Day of Bulgarian Education and Culture and Slavic Literature. Or rather, it’s the day when Bulgarians honour the invention of the Cyrillic alphabet in 9th-century Bulgaria, an event which effectively marked the beginning of Slavic culture and literature.

And for high schools all over the country, this is the time when 12th-graders finish their secondary education and have their prom night. Though this is a night which has little to do with culture and more with questionable fashion choices, binge drinking and reckless activities… but we’ve all been young! So happy Saints Cyril and Methodius Day to all, whether you appreciate Slavic literature or you’re a high school senior, or both!

4 thoughts on “It’s the Day of Bulgarian Culture!

  1. Great picture! I tried to get a similar one recently but it was too late in the day and my shadow was in every picture (and bunches of kids playing with Kiril and Methodi).

  2. Hi todor.
    I know in Bulgarian history Cyril and Methodist, are consider Bulgarians. In what historical sources do you Base this? I ve heard that they were Greeks, and combined letters from Greek alphabet and others to create the Cyril alphabet.
    What language/alphabet you were using before then two showed up?

    • Hi Nicki! As far as I know, Sts. Cyril and Methodius were Byzantine Greeks from Thessaloniki. It’s widely thought that they were partially or fully of Slavic origin because of their intricate knowledge of the Slavic language.

      Now, mind that Sts. Cyril and Methodius invented the very distinct Glagolitic alphabet, not the Cyrillic. Cyrillic did indeed borrow a lot from Greek, as did the Latin alphabet.

      Cyrillic is traditionally ascribed to St. Clement of Ohrid, but the earliest Cyrillic inscriptions are actually from northeastern Bulgaria.

      Before that, the Bulgarian Empire used Greek letters and the Greek language for official writings, sometimes intermixed with Bulgar (Turkic) terms.

      Both the Bulgars and the Slavs may have had their own proto-writing or runic systems (“strokes and incisions” in the case of the Slavs), but not much is known about them.

      • Hey Todor,

        that’s a great explanation in just a few words! Let me just add this for the history buffs: St. Cyril and Methodius didn’t simply put together an alphabet, borrowing letters from other existing at the time alphabets.

        They made a system for representing a language visually. This is why their students, led by St. Clement of Ohrid, later named the alphabet they wrote after their teachers.

        The Glagolitic alphabet was overly complicated and practically unusable. But the Cyrillic alphabet used the same (or similar) system to represent the language. Of course, the letters changed over time and became even more simplified.

        Now let’s go remember our prom nights 🙂

        Cheers, N.

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