May 24 - Bulgaria Celebrates National Day of Culture and Slavic Script
Bulgaria celebrates May 24 as the day of the Bulgarian Education and Culture and Slavic Script, the official Day of Holy Brothers St. Cyril and St. Methodius - the Byzantine scholars who wrote the first Slavic alphabet in 855 A.D., and translated into Old Bulgarian the Bible and the religious literature of Orthodox Christianity.
The first celebration in commemoration of Sts Cyril and Methodius occurred 157 years ago in a Plovdiv school, currently bearing the name of the Saints.
Bulgaria celebrates May 24 as an official holiday under a decision of the National Assembly dated 30 March 1990.
The brothers were born in Thessaloniki, in 827 and 826 respectively. Both were outstanding scholars, theologians, and linguists.
In the 9th century the Holy Brothers Sts. Cyril and Methodius created the Slavic alphabet and made the first translations in it. Their disciples introduced the alphabet in Bulgaria, putting the beginning of its journey to the world.
St. Cyril and St. Methodius invented the so called Glagolithic alphabet, the first Slavic alphabet, whose letters were based on the three holy elements for Christianity - cross, triangle, and cirle. Subsequently, it was modified by their Bulgarian disciples - St. Kliment of Ohrid and St. Naum of Preslav, with St. Kliment calling the new alphabet Cyrillic in favor of his teacher.
The anthem of the Day of Bulgarian Education and Culture - "Walk, People Revived", was written in 1892. In 1901, composer Panayot Pipkov discovered the poem in a textbook and decided to write music on it.The anthem includes 14 verses, of which the most recent are performed, often the first 6. The poem is translated into 21 languages.
The brothers Cyril and Methodius were canonized as saints for the translation and popularization of the Bible in Old Slavic language and the spread of Christianity. In 1980 they were proclaimed by Pope John Paul II as Patrons of Europe. The Orthodox Church also honors them as holy Sedmochislenitsi together with their disciples.
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