Bulgarian Culture Day

Bulgarian Culture Day

May 24
This Bulgarian national holiday—formerly known as Holy Day of Letters —promotes Bulgarian culture and honors two brothers, St. Cyril (c. 827-869) and St. Methodius (c. 815-844), missionaries to Moravia. They are believed to have invented the Slavonic alphabet, also known as the Cyrillic alphabet. What is certain is that through their evangelization efforts, they helped spread the use of the new alphabet, and they are both widely regarded as the country's patrons of education and culture. In 1980, Pope John Paul II declared them patrons of Europe. The brothers started out preaching Christianity in what are now the Czech and Slovak Republics, but their followers fled to Bulgaria when they were persecuted, and Cyrillic became the official alphabet there. It is still used in the former Soviet Union, Serbia, and other Slavic countries as well.
Special religious services, concerts, festivals, and student parades are held throughout Bulgaria on this day, which is also known as Saints Cyril and Methodius's Day and Day of the Founders of the Slavonic Alphabet . An impressive liturgy, celebrated at the cathedral in Sofia, is one of the highlights.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria
1621 22nd St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-387-0174; fax: 202-234-7973
www.bulgaria-embassy.org
SOURCES:
BkFest-1937, p. 71
BkHolWrld-1986, May 24
EncyRel-1987, vol. 4, p. 191
OxYear-1999, p. 203
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