From Sofia to Burgas: Events and Celebrations Commemorating May 24th Across Bulgaria (UPDATED)

Society » CULTURE | Author: Mihaela Mihaylova |May 22, 2024, Wednesday // 17:48
Bulgaria: From Sofia to Burgas: Events and Celebrations Commemorating May 24th Across Bulgaria (UPDATED)

May 24th holds profound significance for Bulgaria as it commemorates the Day of the Bulgarian Alphabet, Bulgarian Enlightenment, and Culture. This revered holiday pays tribute to the invaluable contributions of Saints Cyril and Methodius, the holy brothers who devised the Cyrillic alphabet, laying the foundation for Slavic literacy and culture. Their visionary efforts in Bulgaria during the 9th century not only facilitated the spread of Christianity but also fostered a cultural renaissance that continues to shape Bulgaria's identity today.

Throughout the country, May 24th is marked by a variety of cultural events, educational activities, and celebrations. Schools, community centers, and cultural institutions organize special programs, exhibitions, and performances to honor the rich heritage of the Bulgarian language, literature, and arts. From solemn processions and festive concerts to exhibitions showcasing Bulgarian art and history, the Day of Bulgarian Alphabet and Culture serves as a vibrant expression of national pride and unity, reaffirming the enduring legacy of Cyril and Methodius in Bulgaria's history.


Book fair

The renowned Spring Book Fair, organized by the Bulgarian Book Association, is set to enchant residents and visitors of Sofia once again. Commencing on May 24, the event will coincide with the start of the Sofia International Literary Festival for Children and Youth, kicking off on May 27. Both initiatives will officially open at 5:00 p.m. on May 24.

The fair will return to its familiar location in the garden in front of the National Palace of Culture (NDK), boasting the participation of over 140 publishers showcasing selected titles across an expansive area of over 1,500 square meters. Running until June 2, the Spring Book Fair promises more than 110 cultural events, including 40 staged on the Fair's dedicated Cultural Program platform.

Joining the festivities, the Sofia International Literary Festival for Children and Youth will feature a dedicated festival tent hosting events from May 27 to June 1, culminating in a special program for Children's Day. Notable foreign authors in attendance include Bart Moeyaert, Hannah Gold, Marcella Ward, Tim Collins, Daniele Movarelli, Alice Coppini, Stephen Houghton, and Anja Portin.

The Bulgarian Book Association extends a warm invitation to all literature enthusiasts to explore the latest titles and meet their favorite authors at the Spring Book Fair and the Sofia International Literary Festival for Children and Youth.

Supported by the Metropolitan Municipality, both events are integral components of the "Calendar of Cultural Events of the Metropolitan Municipality." Partnerships include the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education and Science, the online platform Knigovishte, the Children's Books Foundation, the National Network for Children, and the Bulgarian Library and Information Association.

Bulgarian Railways

Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) is launching a retro train ride on May 24th, 25th, and 26th, 2024, to commemorate the Day of Bulgarian Education and Culture. The train will operate twice daily between Sofia and Bankya, departing from Sofia Central Station at 9:00 and 13:35, and from Bankya at 12:50 and 17:40.

The retro train, part of the BDZ museum heritage, dates back to 1960 and was manufactured in Austria. Equipped with modern amenities for its time, it served government officials until 1994. The train features a diesel engine with the designation 19 001.7 and comprises a first-class and a second-class compartment, offering comfortable seating arrangements and onboard facilities such as a coffee machine, refrigerator, and kitchen.

Tickets for the retro train ride cost BGN 30 for adults and BGN 15 for children under 10.

National Library

As part of the "Hidden Letters" project, a 3D mapping projection will illuminate the facade of the National Library "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" on May 23. The visual narrative, created by Polina Gerasimova, explores language as a symbol of identity and communication. Featuring original poetry by Stefan Ikoga and music by Kan Wakan, the projection showcases the unique graphic elements of the Bulgarian Cyrillic alphabet.

The "Hidden Letters" project, initiated in 2018, aims to celebrate Bulgarian literature and culture through artistic installations and literary events. Fourteen benches shaped like Cyrillic letters are placed across Sofia, each featuring a poem by a contemporary Bulgarian poet.

In addition to the 3D mapping projection, the "Let's Read" festival will take place on May 24 in Slaveikov Square. The event, now in its fourth year, invites visitors to engage in literary activities and celebrate the rich literary heritage of Bulgaria. Activities include storytelling sessions, poetry readings, and discussions about notable Bulgarian authors.

Yana Stefanova, one of the event organizers, emphasizes the importance of Slaveikov Square as a cultural hub and encourages people of all ages to participate in the festivities. The festival aims to reignite interest in literature and foster a sense of community among book lovers.

From fairy tale hours to literary relays, the "Let's Read" festival offers something for everyone, making it the perfect destination for families and literature enthusiasts alike.


Plovdiv is gearing up to commemorate the Day of the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius, celebrating Bulgarian culture, education, and Slavic literature with a series of events including award ceremonies, processions, and concerts.

The festivities kick off on May 24 at 9:00 a.m. in the Assembly Hall of the Humanitarian High School, where deserving teachers, principals, and pedagogical specialists from schools and kindergartens will be honored with the prestigious badges of the city of Plovdiv. Additionally, young teachers will be recognized with diplomas during the ceremony.

Simultaneously, a festive liturgy will commence at the "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" church, led by Plovdiv Metropolitan Nikolay. At 10:00 a.m., dignitaries and guests, accompanied by clergy members, will proceed to May 11 Square for further celebrations. Plovdiv Municipality Mayor Kostadin Dimitrov will deliver an address at the monument to the first teachers, followed by a special prayer service. The ceremony at the Slavic apostles monument will conclude with the laying of wreaths and flowers.

At 10:45 a.m., the procession to "Centralen" square will commence, led by the cheerleading squad at "St. St. Cyril and Methodius," the Wind Orchestra "Plovdiv," and a renowned band from the high shcool "St. St. Cyril and Methodius." The route will take participants through various streets before culminating at the Central Square.

At 12:00 p.m., the Meeting Hall of the Municipality of Plovdiv will host the official ceremony awarding the badges of honor of Plovdiv to 14 young artists.

The day will conclude with a concert by the "Tangra" group, starting at 6:00 p.m. on the open stage in front of the municipality.


As the eve of May 24 approaches, preparations are underway for a special concert where the prestigious "Argira Zhechkova" award will be presented. This celebratory event is set to take place on May 23 at 6 p.m. in the "Sliven" hall, followed by a concert by the popular Bulgarian duet "Riton" on the open stage of Hadji Dimitar Square at 7 p.m. Festive illuminations will adorn the city starting at 9 p.m. that evening.

May 24, the Day of the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius and of the Bulgarian alphabet, education, and culture, promises a bustling day of festivities in Sliven. The day will commence with a festive procession of students from Sliven schools, beginning at 11 a.m. from the City Garden and proceeding along Main Street to Hadji Dimitar Square. The city-wide solemn ceremony will kick off at 11:30 a.m. on the square, followed by an award ceremony honoring students who have excelled in national and international competitions and contests on the open stage from 12 p.m.

Later in the day, the open stage in the town square will host a joint concert by the folklore ensemble "Strandja" and the Sliven Folk Song and Dance Ensemble, starting at 12:30 p.m. The festivities will continue with a holiday concert for kindergartens at 4 p.m., followed by performances by "The Three Bulgarian Tenors" and "Tonika" on the open stage at 7:30 p.m. The evening will conclude with an enchanting drone show at 9:30 p.m.

Over the weekend, Sliven will welcome participants of the XXV International Children's Folklore Dance Festival "Friendship without Borders," commencing with a parade of participants on Saturday, May 25.

The Municipality of Sliven advises that in the event of any changes to the schedule or location of events due to inclement weather, timely updates will be provided.

Stara Zagora

The Municipality of Stara Zagora has curated a diverse array of cultural events spanning from May 23rd to May 28th, 2024, promising a vibrant celebration for residents and visitors alike.

May 23rd will bring a milestone celebration with the anniversary concert for Kindergarten No. 29 "Slaveyche" at 5:00 p.m. in the Stara Zagora Cultural Center, followed by a grand opera performance of "The Troubadour" by Giuseppe Verdi at 7:00 p.m. in the Opera House.

On May 24th, the city will observe a series of ceremonial events, starting with the solemn ritual for raising the national flag and a festive procession from the Square in front of the Municipality along "Tsar Simeon the Great" Blvd. A variety of activities await attendees throughout the day, including workshops, concerts, exhibitions, and workshops, culminating in a piano concert by Prof. Zheni Zaharieva at 6:00 p.m. in the Art Gallery.

Additionally, various cultural venues including the Art Gallery, ROME - Stara Zagora, and the Museum "Neolithic Dwellings" will be open for free visits on the holiday.

The cultural festivities extend beyond the city limits with village celebrations in Khan Asparuhovo, Borilovo, and Kirilovo, offering a chance for rural communities to partake in the joyous occasion.

Lastly, on May 28th, the "St. Kliment Ohridski 1858" will host the "With song and blessing" National Festival of Veteran Teachers, commemorating the dedication and contributions of esteemed educators.


The municipality of Dobrich has announced plans for a festive celebration on May 24th, which will take place on Democracy Square, albeit without the customary procession. This decision comes following discussions within the municipal administration and consultations with school directors across the city.

While the traditional practice of laying flowers at the monument of the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius will be upheld, individuals will have the flexibility to participate at their convenience. The municipality emphasizes the importance of incorporating the input of local schools in determining the manner of celebration.

Although Dobrich has long-standing traditions for commemorating the Day of the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius, as well as Bulgarian alphabet, education, culture, and Slavic literature, adjustments have been necessitated this year due to ongoing renovations in the city center.

Typically, the occasion is marked by a parade involving all schools in the area. However, given the ongoing renovations, such an event is not feasible this year. Nonetheless, the municipality assures residents that collaborative efforts between Dobrich's authorities and its schools will ensure a festive celebration befitting the significance of May 24th.


The press center of the local administration in Svishtov has announced an array of events planned for May 24th, commemorating the significance of the day. The municipality has organized a diverse program to honor the occasion.

The evening will commence with a meeting at the "Aleko Konstantinov" House Museum, where a presentation titled "Founder of the Svishtov Women's Society Elena Hadjiivanova - a Worthy Mother, Sister, and Grandmother" will be delivered by Prof. Yulia Nikolova.

Following this, the First Bulgarian National Community Center "Elenka and Kiril D. Avramovi - 1856" will host the annual concert of dance classes from the "Stefka Filipova" Art School at the Svishtov Community Center.

On May 21st, Symphony-Vratsa will hold a concert-ceremony to present the Municipality of Svishtov's annual awards for education and culture. Recognitions will be conferred in categories such as "Culture Worker," "Teacher of the Year," and "Worthy of Svishtov" to deserving individuals in the educational and cultural sectors. The concert program will include performances of popular Bulgarian songs, as announced by the Municipality.

The Nikolai Pavlovich Art Gallery will inaugurate an exhibition dedicated to Vasko Vasilev on May 22nd, commemorating the 80th anniversary of his birth.

On May 24th, the Municipality will organize a traditional city-wide procession in honor of the Day of the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius, Bulgarian alphabet, education, culture, and Slavic literature. The festivities will commence with a visit to the grave of Dr. Georgi Atanasovich, Minister of Education in Bulgaria's first cabinet after Liberation.

Later in the day, the official send-off and awarding ceremony for high school graduates will take place. This tradition, now in its third year, will see Svishtov's graduates walking a red carpet in the central town square.


Burgas is gearing up to celebrate May 24th, the Day of the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius, Bulgarian alphabet, education, and culture, as well as Slavic literature, with a vibrant array of events. The city will welcome the occasion with a lively procession, a festive concert, and numerous cultural activities.

The festive procession on May 24th will kick off at 10:30 a.m., commencing from "Troikata" Square and proceeding through "Alexandrovska" Street, "Aleko Bogoridi" Street, culminating at the "Morsko Casino" Cultural Center. Participants will include schools, kindergartens, representatives from Burgas clergy, community centers, and cultural institutions.

At 11:00 a.m., the city-wide celebration will continue at the "Snail" open stage with a grand concert titled "Language Sacred to My Ancestors". Performers will include the Children's vocal group "Sea Sands", Children's Choir "Milka Stoeva", Children's Folk Choir "Trepetlika", and Vocal Studio "Seasons". The event will be hosted by Valeria Valcheva and Vanessa Valcheva from the Youth Theater Company "Valery and Friend".

Additionally, the traditional exhibition of Burgas artists titled "24 May" will open at 22 Aleksandrovska St., hosted by the Society of Artists in Burgas, alongside the presentation of the "Young Artist of the Year" award.

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Tags: May, Cyril, Methodius, Bulgarian

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