If you’re planning to visit Bulgaria, there are two experiences that you absolutely cannot miss. The first is the stunning geography of the country, which ranges from mountains to coastlines and all areas in between. The second, however, is discovering the unique culture and traditions of the Bulgarian people—something that will truly add depth to your trip to this Eastern European country.
Glimpses of the Communist Era
The art, paintings, music, dance, festivals, and languages of Bulgaria are all a product of its communist past. Despite being a small country, Bulgaria has a rich culture that is evident in its architecture and clothing. If you’re looking to experience something new and different, Bulgaria is the perfect place to visit.
In style, Bulgarians are distinct in their own right. From wigs to jewelry, Bulgarians typically go for more elaborate hair styles than other European countries and often wear glittering baubles that cover their entire body. While it was less popular a few decades ago, tattoos have made a comeback in recent years among younger generations – now each town has at least one tattoo parlor.
Even though Bulgarias capital is more modern than any other city in Eastern Europe; it still feels like walking back into time. The old buildings contrast with towering skyscrapers as you explore every street corner for hidden treasures.
The music of Bulgaria consists mainly of folk songs, which have undergone significant changes throughout time. Bulgarian folk music is characterized by extensive use of major and minor tonality, as well as modal melodies. Musical folklore was an integral part of Bulgarian culture since it was developed by predominating ethnographic groups that settled in present-day Bulgaria during different periods after their formation. Two other kinds are more closely related to ritual song (horos) and work song (mallah). The horo is typically danced in a circle; with one or two people playing a drum at the center with cymbals, while others dance in a circle around them, holding hands.
Bulgaria is a country with an overwhelming culture. There are many art forms, festivals, languages, and paintings that make up the tapestry of this nation. One way to learn about the culture is to explore its architecture. The density of buildings in Bulgaria is amazing. They are often packed together tightly, leaving little room for greenery or other open spaces. This can be seen as a reflection of the country’s high population density. Additionally, the architecture reflects the various influences that have shaped Bulgaria over the years. There are Ottoman, Soviet, and Byzantine influences evident in the buildings throughout the country.
The Soviet influence is most obvious in Skopje, while much of Sofia looks to be influenced by Ottoman design. Sofia also has a clear division between communist buildings that look to have been built in an extremely short period of time, yet stand next to very old, traditional looking buildings. This reflects both recent history as well as shows how Bulgarian culture is able to retain some parts while letting go others over time.
In many ways, Sofia is similar to other eastern European cities such as Budapest or Warsaw. You can feel an influence from Turkey that came over centuries ago. Traditional Bulgarian clothing has also been influenced by both Ottoman style clothing and communist uniforms. The most traditional costumes are worn on holidays such as at national festivals or during celebrations such as weddings. Other pieces include long skirts, embroidered vests, colorful head scarves and wool caps that have become a symbol of traditional costume for women across Europe in recent years.
In Bulgaria, there are many festivals that are celebrated throughout the year. One of the most popular is the Kukeri Festival which is held in January. The festival is a celebration of the end of winter and the start of spring. It is also a time to ward off evil spirits. Another popular festival is Easter, which is celebrated in April. There are also many other festivals that are specific to certain regions or cities in Bulgaria.
Another holiday that is specific to a particular region in Bulgaria is Denke. This holiday was born as a result of WWII. During communism, many Bulgarians were forced out of their homes, either to work in other regions or move from one country to another. These people spent Christmas away from their families so they would come back home, gather friends and neighbors together, bring with them wine made especially for that day and gather around fire while sharing stories about all they experienced while they were away. This tradition is still alive today, not only in one region but all over the country.
Although there are many different traditions and holidays celebrated throughout Bulgaria each year, one thing that can’t be missed is how beautiful the architecture here really is.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Bulgarian culture is the paintings. They are everywhere, in every building and on every street. The colors are so bright and vibrant that they almost seem to jump out at you. The paintings depict scenes from Bulgarian history, mythology, and daily life. They are an important part of Bulgarian culture and help to give it its unique character.
Its warm personalities reflect their artistic culture. Walking along any street, you will encounter people strolling, taking in their surroundings, enjoying an ice cream or singing a Bulgarian folk song. In fact, there are few cities in Europe where you can still see so many people out walking at night as you can in Sofia, which makes it an interesting city to explore after dark. Most of them aren’t just mindlessly walking past buildings; they’re actually taking notice of them on some level and thinking about how they were built (or rebuilt) over time. That’s because most Bulgarians take pride in their country’s history.
The traditional clothing of Bulgaria is very colorful and often includes patterns. The most common colors are red, white, and green. Women often wear dresses with intricate designs, while men typically wear pants and shirts. Both men and women may also wear folk costumes for special occasions.
Bulgarian women wear traditional costumes for special occasions. The Bulgarian Lady’s Costume, as it is known, consists of a dress in red or white with a velvet belt and embroidered collar. They also wear a colorful embroidered shawl to cover their shoulders when needed. This type of clothing is often worn on holidays like Easter Sunday, St. Ivan Day (day after Christmas), Krastova Nedelya (Day of Cross) on May 3rd, Assumption Day (August 15th), and during folk celebrations like festivals.