If we try to trace the roots of Bulgarian culture, we must go back more than a thousand years ago at the dawn of the First Bulgarian Kingdom. The long history of and Bulgarian culture, respectively, begins in 681 with the union of the Thracian, Proto-Bulgarian and Slav tribes who lived in these beautiful fertile lands. Bulgarian culture developed at a fast pace during the flourishing periods in Bulgarian history at the time of the First and the Second Bulgarian kingdom. It was after the acceptance of the Christian faith and the creation of the Bulgarian alphabet that Bulgarian culture saw a most intensive development. The foundations of Bulgarian literature were laid, new Christian rituals were introduced and the pagan rituals continued to exist, but they were now connected to the Christian holidays.
A multitude of and were built throughout the land and decorated lavishly by murals and paintings of self-taught masters. Today a great number of them are preserved and represent valuable monuments of Bulgarian culture.
The main influences on Bulgarian culture came from the neighbouring Byzantine empire and later on, by the Ottoman empire during the five-century Ottoman rule. During this long period of hardship for Bulgarians, they managed to preserve their unique traditions and culture, the being a major factor as centres of enlightenment and keepers of faith.
Cultural tours and trips in Bulgaria
On our site you will find a wide selection of to in Bulgaria which represent greatest cultural interest. , , and are wonderful opportunities to get more familiar with Bulgarian culture. You will be introduced to the rose-picking, rose-distilling rituals in , and to the traditional techniques of wine producing in Melnik, , and . We will take you to the awe-inspiring fortresses in , the ancient Bulgarian capital, and to picturesque Bulgarian villages which preserve the ancient traditions and the rural way of life of past centuries.
Outside the organized , you can always make short cultural trips to the and in your in Bulgaria. You will find cultural hotspots in every town and in Bulgaria, the most popular of them being concentrated in , , , , , . , , and have much to offer to those who are interested in contemporary Bulgarian culture – cinemas, , , and exhibitions.
Festivals and cultural events in Bulgaria
Annually various folk and cultural events take place in villages and , each of them dedicated to a main folklore theme.
, held in early June in , is a celebration of beauty and flowers with folk dances and songs.
The Koukery dances taking place in late March in many towns and villages throughout Bulgaria are among the most impressive Bulgarian rituals and an inseparable part of the authentic Bulgarian culture.
Other fascinating cultural events are the bagpipe festivals in and at the beginning of August and the fire-dancing rituals in the Strandja villages at the end of May.
Probably the most popular festivals of contemporary Bulgarian art and culture is the Apollonia festival at the beginning of September in .