Bulgarian culture, traditions, habits, music and folklore.|
The Bulgarian lands have been inhabited by various tribes that have developed a rich and varied culture. Learn more about bulgarian traditions, folklore and festivals. Ask your question about Bulgarian habits and culture.
Pages with Questions - CULTURE AND TRADITIONS: 
20. What is Ladouvane?21. What are the most frequently used Bulgarian names?22. Is the Bulgarian folklore alive today?23. Is this true that Bulgarian song travelling in the space?24. Who are "the Shopps"?25. What about the old and new style calendars for holidays in Bulgaria?26. What are the traditional Bulgarian alcohol drinks?27. What about Apollonia Festival in Sozopol?28. What about Folk Festival in Koprivshitsa?29. How bulgarians say cheers?
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Q20: What is Ladouvane?
A20: Laduvane (Singing to Rings) is New Year's custom, expressing young girls' eagerness to get married and enjoy a happy family life. Ladouvane is a maidens' rite performed on the day before New Year only in Western Bulgaria, the Central Balkan Range and in some regions along the Danube River. In the rest of the country, it is celebrated on Midsummer Day. Preparations would start early in the morning. All lasses in the village would drop their rings, as well as oats and barley, the symbols of fertility, into a caldron full of spring water, all the rings fastened with a red thread to a bunch of perennial plants, such as ivy, crane's bill, or basil. The cauldron was left overnight in the open, under the stars, and on New Year's Eve, following a ritual dance around it, the girls' fortunes were told.
Q21: What are the most frequently used Bulgarian names?
A21: This is statistics for
top twenty most frequent Bulgarian boy's and girl's proper names from 1980:
Boys: Ivan, Gheorghi, Dimitar, Petar, Hristo, Nikolay, Todor, Yordan, Stoyan, Vasil, Stefan, Angel, Nikola, Atanas, Iliya, Asen, Kiril, Krasimir, Alexandвr, Emil
Girls: Maria, Ivanka, Elena, Mariika, Yordanka, Ana, Penka, Nadezhda, Radka, Anka, Stoyanka, Stanka, Vasilka, Emiliya, Violeta, Donka, Rositza, Tzvetanka, Margarita, Todorka
Q22: Is the Bulgarian folklore alive today?
A22: Yes - today the folk song tradition is as alive as ever. Over 70000 folk songs have been collected at the Folklore Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
In addition, folk music has quite a significant place in contemporary Bulgarian composers' works.
Bulgarian folk songs and performers are liked and praised in many places around the globe.
The Bulgarian folk music has had a strong impact on modern world music too and has been directly used in a good number of modern musical compositions.
The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices is known and valued world-wide.
Q23: Is this true that Bulgarian song travelling in the space?
A23: Yes. Bulgaria’s “Izlel e Delio Haidutin” folk song was sent in deep space on the board of the US Space Probe -Voyager I as part of a collection of our Civilization's finest cultural artefact's - a message to an alien intelligence. Along with a Beethoven symphony, there is this Bulgarian folk song from the Rhodopes region, performed by Valya Balkanska.
Q24: Who are "the Shopps"?
A24: Bulgarians originating from the areas around Sofia and Dupnitza are called “Shopps”. They speak a specific bulgarian dialect which is closer to the Macedonian Bulgarian language rather than to the Eastern Bulgarian vernacular. The Shopps are known for their tenacity, conservatism and pretension to being “the most genuine” Bulgarians. People from the other parts of Bulgaria pay them back by referring to them as “wooden Shopps”.
Q25: What about the old and new style calendars for holidays in Bulgaria?
A25: In Bulgaria new style of church calendar is mostly used. The old style calendar is The Julian Calendar (also called the Church calendar). It was adopted by the Church at the First Oecumemcal Council in Nicea in 325. It is kept by the Russian, Serbian and Georgian Churches, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Fathers of Mt Athos and Mt Sinai. At present the civil (new style) calendar is 13 days ahead of the Julian calendar (it is more astronomically exact).
Some people in Bulgaria celebrate church holidays in old style, most of peoples in civil calendar and some in both :) (for example Trifon Zarezan is celebrated at 1 Feb and 14 Feb)
Q26: What are the traditional Bulgarian alcohol drinks?
A26: Alcohol is very much a part of Bulgarian culture. It is drunk by many at any time and for every occasion. The most used traditional drinks are:
Beer - Bulgarian beer is palatable. The wide known Bulgarian brands are Kamenitza, Zagorka, Shoumensko, Pleven, Ariana. There are international brands made in Bulgaria like Tuborg, Becks, Heineken and more.
Wine - high quality, low price; wines from Preslav, Novi Pazar, Suhin Dol, Melnik and Khan Krum (Shoumen Region) are regarded as the best, Sungularski Misket (dry white) is one preferred brand. Red is drunk in the winter, white in the summer, both with almost everything.
Rakia - Bulgarian brandy, the national drink. High concentration of alcohol.
Q27: What about Apollonia Festival in Sozopol?
A27: The first Apollonia Festival of Arts was held in Sozopol in 1984. Art people – artists, musicians, writers, poets, actors and architects are a significant part of the regular visitors. The unique atmosphere of the city is a true inspiration for creative work. The Festival’s main goal is to show the whole variety of achievements in Bulgarian art; to preserve tradition and to support new ideas, the experimental and unusual vision in all art types.
From the 1st to the10th of September world famous Bulgarian artists and performers are on stage together with young talents, some of them just starting their carrier. Foreign artists are invited regularly as well. Every night one can choose among a theatre performance, a jazz or a chamber concert, a presentation of a new book, or a ballet performance in the open. During the Festival, at the Old Town Art Gallery, workshops in piano, singing, jazz improvisation, theatre are held in a very artistic surrounding of paintings and sculptures. The 10 days of the Festival are just enough to accommodate the fifty cultural events with more than 1000 artists, musicians, performers. Five stages ( the "Paissii Hilendarski Cultural Center, the Archeological Museum, the Old Town Art Gallery, the Jazz Club and the "Apollonia" Amphitheatre) with different atmosphere are providing the rare and excellent opportunity to enjoy art.
more info >> http://apollonia.dir.bg/en/
Q28: What about Folk Festival in Koprivshitsa?
A28: National Folk Festival in Koprivshitsa - held every four years during August. The first edition of Koprivshtitsa Folk Festival was held in 1965, The event, famous for diversity of genres and lore, aims at promoting Bulgarian folklore both and home and abroad. Foreign participation has always been in the focus of attention, too. Recent changes include a scaling back in scope to make the event more frequent, plus the addition of ethnic (Roma, Turkish, Armenian, Jewish etc) folk music along with the traditional Bulgarian folk.
Q29: How bulgarians say cheers?
A29: The Bulgarian salute for cheers is Nazdrave.