Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church

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There are twelve great feasts celebrated in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. Each feast celebrates an event in the life of Jesus or of his mother Mary, the Theotokos (God-bearer), and corresponds to a significant event in the church calendar. Most of the great feasts are one day celebrations. Christmas and Easter are entire seasons in the church, with significant periods of preparation in advance of the celebratory dates.

Twelve Great Feasts of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church

The twelve great feasts of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in order of their celebration during the liturgical year:

great feast nativity of the theotokosFeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos – Celebrated on 8 September. This feast commemorates the birth of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Unusual in that most saints are celebrated on their day of death. Called the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the western church.

Feast of the Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-creating Cross – Celebrated on 14 September. Commemorates the discovery of the true cross in 326 and its recovery in 628 from the Persians who had stolen it. The feast recalls the consecration day of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, commissioned by Saint Helen, who had it built at the site of the discovery. In the western church this is often referred to as Holy Cross Day or Holy Rood Day.

Feast of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple – Celebrated on 21 November. According to tradition, Mary’s parents prayed to the Lord that if they should be freed from barrenness, they would dedicate their child to the service of the Lord. To fulfill their promise, they brought Mary to the temple as a young child, leaving her there to live and serve. In the western church this holiday is called the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

great feast nativity of our lordFeast of the Nativity of Our Lord (Christmas) – Celebrated on 25 December. Preceded by a period of preparation marked by a 40 day fast, starting on 15 November. This feast commemorates the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem. The earliest record of the feast has it celebrated by St. Clement on 20 May. It was observed in different ways at different locations until the 4th century, when it was finally fixed on 25 December to replace a popular Pagan feast previously celebrated on that day.

Feast of the Theophany of Our Lord  – Celebrated on 6 January. This feast commemorates the appearance of the Holy Trinity at the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan river. It corresponds to Epiphany in the western calendar, but is more strictly focused on the baptism of Jesus, rather than the broader inclusion of the visit of the wise men and the turning of water into wine commemorated on the same date in the western church.

Presentation of Jesus at the Temple – Celebrated on 2 February, exactly 40 days after Christmas. the date corresponds to the day on which Mary, according to Jewish law, would have participated in the rite of purification at the temple following the birth of Jesus. See Luke 2:22-39. Traditionally called Candlemas in the western church.

Feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem – A moveable feast celebrated one week before Easter Sunday. Commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem the week of his crucifixion, mentioned in all four of the canonical Gospels. See Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, . In Bulgarian it is called Tsvetnitsa (BG: Цветница), or Flower Day.  It is the name day for all people with flower names. Called Palm Sunday in the western church.

great feast of easterFeast of Easter – A moveable feast celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The greatest of all feasts, also called the Feast of Feasts. Easter is a five day celebration starting on Maundy Thursday (preceding Easter Sunday) and continuing through Easter Monday, the day following Easter Sunday. This Feast is the pinnacle of the church year and commemorates the cornerstone event of the Christian faith. The method for calculating the appropriate date for Easter is a point of contention between the eastern and western churches, resulting in a division among the faithful regarding annual Easter celebrations and confusion among Christians whose lives straddle both worlds.

Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord – A moveable feast celebrated forty days after the resurrection of Jesus, on the sixth Thursday following Easter Sunday. This feast commemorates the departure of Jesus from the earth after his resurrection. Since the date of this feast depends on the date of Easter, it is often celebrated on different days in the eastern and western churches.

great feast of pentecostFeast of Pentecost – A moveable feast celebrated on the eighth Sunday of the Easter season, fifty days after Easter Sunday. This feast commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit recorded in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts (Acts 2:1-40). Also called Whit Sunday in the western church. Like the Feast of the Ascension, the date of Pentecost depends on the date of Easter, so it is often celebrated on different dates by eastern and western churches.

Feast of the Transfiguration – Celebrated on 6 August. This feast commemorates a New Testament event in which Jesus, while praying on a mountain, radiated bright light and the prophets Moses and Elijah appeared to speak with him (Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, and Luke 9:28-36). The feast celebrates the Holy Trinity because all three persons of the Trinity are interpreted as present in the event.

Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos – Celebrated on 15 August. This feast commemorates the death of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her bodily resurrection before being taken up into heaven. The word dormition, or falling to sleep, is a euphemism often used in the church to describe physical death.

Other Great Feasts not Counted Among the Twelve

There are five additional feasts that are called great feasts that do not count among the twelve.  Here they are listed in order of occurrence during the liturgical year:

Feast of the Protecting Veil of the Theotokos – Celebrated on 1 October. This feast commemorates a 9th century appearance of Mary for the protection of believers in Constantinople (today Istanbul).

Feast of the Circumcision of Christ – Celebrated on 1 January. This feast commemorates the circumcision of Jesus according to Jewish law, on the eighth day after his birth.

Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist – Celebrated on 24 June. This feast commemorates the birth of John the Baptist, also called the Forerunner, because his role was to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus.

Feast of Saints Peter and Paul – Celebrated on 29 June. This feast commemorates the martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul in Rome.

Feast of the Beheading of St John the Baptist – Celebrated on 29 August. This feast commemorates the death of St John the Baptist by order of Herod Antipas.

Learn More About the Great Feasts

Here are a few resources for people who want to know more about the great feasts:

Meditations for the Twelve Great FeastsMeditations for the Twelve Great Feasts, by Vassilios Papavassiliou. Introduction to each of the twelve Great Feasts, with meditations to encourage those who want to know more about them. Buy it now on Amazon

Feasts of FaithFeasts of Faith: Reflections on the Major Feast Days, by William C. Mills. Pastoral reflections on the great feasts of the Orthodox Church. Intended to encourage believers through the reading and study of scriptures related to the feasts. Buy it now on Amazon

The Incarnate GodThe Incarnate God: The Feasts of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary (2 Volume Set), by Catherine Aslanov, Paul Meyendorff and Andrew Tregubov. An accessible catechism intended for study groups. A rich resource for studying the feasts. Buy it now on Amazon


And for children…

great feastsMy Book of Church Feasts, from Potamitis Publishing House. A coloring book for enjoyment and instruction. Buy it now on Amazon

great feastsThe Twelve Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church: Activity Book for Children, by Lengua Viva. Introduction, word games and coloring for children. Appropriate for individuals and groups. Buy it now on Amazon

Sava Filaretov: Teacher and Reformer

sava filaretov

Sava Filaretov (25 October 1825 – 13 November 1863), birth name Sava Valchev, was a Bulgarian teacher, activist and educational reformer. His birthplace is now the Sava Filaretov House Museum in Zheravna, Bulgaria.

Early Life and Career

Sava Filaretov was born into a wealthy family in Zheravna, where his father was a stockbreeder and merchant. He received his primary education there, then continued in Kotel, studying under the well known teacher Sava Dobroplodni.

After completing his studies he was recommended for a teaching post in Shumen and started his career. With skill and determination he improved the quality of the Shumen school, increasing its enrollment and attracting new students from surrounding villages. Even experienced teachers came to him for instruction in pedagogy and to increase their general knowledge. He remained in Shumen four years.

While in Shumen he adopted the new surname Filaretov from the greek φιλάρετος, meaning lover of excellence.

The Higher Education of Sava Filaretov

In 1848 Filaretov moved to Constantinople to continue his studies at the Greek School in Kurucheshme, but he was unhappy there and moved on to Odessa to study at the First Odessa High School, where he graduated with honors. While in Odessa he mingled with many Bulgarian actors and began writing for the Bulgarian press.

In 1852 he enrolled in Moscow University to study Slavic Philology through the generosity of Ivan Denkoglu, a wealthy Sofia entrepreneur and philanthropist. During the Crimean War, he wrote the first Russian-Bulgarian phrasebook, intended for use by Russian soldiers upon entry into Bulgarian lands. Many Bulgarians hoped that the Crimean conflict would lead to a war of liberation in their own country. He became active in the national revival movement, writing and helping raise funds for other Bulgarian patriots.

Sofia and Educational Reform

After completing his studies in Moscow, Filaretov moved to Sofia in 1856 to become head teacher at the first boy’s grade school there, and was assigned the task of improving the quality of education in the city. He created new rules for managing the education process, developed a new curriculum, and increased enrollment to over 350 pupils. His ideas were later published for use in schools nationwide.

In 1857 he undertook the development of education for girls, and in 1858 he became the headmaster of the first girl’s school in Sofia, another project financed by Denkoglu. The school opened with great pomp in the courtyard of Sveta Nedelya Church, but came under attack from some of the more conservative elements of Sofia society who opposed female education beyond household skills. The school building was destroyed by fire during the war of liberation in the summer of 1877.

During this time Filaretov became active in the Bulgarian church struggle to escape Greek domination.

Marriage and Later Life

In 1860 Filaretov married Yordana Hadzhi Kotseva, daughter of a wealthy family and one of his first students in the girls school in Sofia. Together they had a son Vladimir.

Shortly thereafter he came under threat from intrigues propagated by Greek clerics in Sofia and was forced to leave the city. He took his young family to Russia, became a Russian citizen, and accepted a post at the Russian Embassy in Constantinople (Istanbul). He used his post to continue support for Bulgarian causes.

Filaretov fell ill with pulmonary tuberculosis and transferred to Cairo, where he could receive treatment for the disease.Unfortunately his condition deteriorated and he died too young on 13 November 1863 at the age of 38 years. An obituary published in the Bulgarian periodical Съветник remembered Sava Filaretov as “thoughtful, modest, polite, good to the greatest extent, drawing others through love and respect.”

Zheravna: A Museum Town

zheravna architecture

Zheravna is a small architectural gem located in the southern foothills of the eastern Balkan Mountains, not far from the major artery connecting Sofia with the southern Black Sea coast. A museum town with many fine National Revival buildings, Zheravna is an important historical reserve and budding tourist destination. It is number 57 on the Bulgarian Tourist Union list of the top 100 tourist sites in Bulgaria.

Early History of the Zheravna Region

The sunny slopes and well fed streams of the Zheravna region provide an attractive setting for habitation, and archaeological evidence suggests that Thracians called this place home as early as the 1st or 2nd century of the Christian era. Pottery, jewelry and Roman coins are routinely dug up in local excavations. Ruins of the nearby Roman fortress Vida also speak to the ancient origins of human culture in the area.

When the Slavs came, they settled in small hamlets scattered among the hills.

The region was also a crossroads of two major transportation routes during the First and Second Bulgarian Empires. The first road ran south from Veliki Preslav, through Zheravna, connecting the old Bulgarian capital to the Thracian plain and the sea. The second connected the medieval capital, Veliko Tarnovo, to Constantinople and the Black Sea. It is reasonable to assume that traffic along both routes would have promoted development of the surrounding area. In fact, several monasteries were established in the region during the Second Bulgarian Empire.

The Origins of Zheravna Town

Zheravna grew out of more than 10 isolated villages around the time of the Ottoman conquest of Bulgaria. Local residents sought protecting by gathering together in closer community around the local watermills, or Zherki as they were called in the Slavic tongue. Ottoman sources dating as far back as the 16th century call the town Zherovine. It was also called Bash Kjoy, Turkish for chief village, a reference to its importance in the area. The earliest recorded use of Zheravna was by native son Rayno Popovich, a prominent 19th century Bulgarian educator.

Zheravna under the Ottoman Turks

During the Ottoman era Zheravna enjoyed the status of a free village, granting its inhabitants the right to permanent land ownership in exchange for services rendered to the Turkish army transport units.

During the 18th century, the town economy surged due to an expansion of animal husbandry, in particular sheep, and the growth of wool production. Soon most of the townspeople were engaged in the wool trade. High demand for woolen goods led to prosperity and development, as the town toiled to meet demand for woolen clothing, carpets, pillow and rugs. Other crafts developed as well, and the main street was lined with shops for leather goods, wood products, foodstuffs and more. There were several inns in town for traders and other guests traveling through.

Merchants and farmers grew rich and built fine homes with wide eaves, bay windows, tile roofs and stone chimneys. Many of the houses included ornate interior decoration. Local roads were paved with stone.

Zheravna and the Bulgarian National Revival

Considering the wealth of the town, it was not surprising that Paisii of Hilendar passed through Zheravna while traveling around Bulgaria. One of the earliest transcriptions of his influential Slavonic-Bulgarian History was made there in 1772, popularly known as the Zheravna copy. It was passed hand to hand for several generations until it was lost in the middle of the 19th century.

Zheravna became the cradle of many leaders of the national revival movement, including Rayko Popovich, his nephew Rayno Popovich, called the teacher, Todor Ikonomov, Vasil D. Stoyanov and Save Filaretov.

The town has a proud heritage in education, having sent many of its sons to the monastery schools of Mount Athos before opening its own school in 1834 in the yard of its newly constructed church. An impressive school building, still standing, opened in 1867.

The National Liberation Movement

Zheravna played an important role in the national liberation movement. Exhorted by the likes of Vasil Levski, Angel Kunchev, Panaiot Hitov and Hadzhi Dimitar, the people of Zheravna were willing and ready to take part in the April uprising of 1876. Under the command of Petar Zheinov, the town prepared for the uprising in secret. On 7 May 1876, twenty two locals joined the fight with Stoil Voivoda’s detachment when he passed through. They were defeated shortly thereafter.

The Turks infamously and cruelly returned to Zheravna with seven heads impaled on stakes, then paraded the townspeople past them to make them look at what had become of their men.

Later on men from Zheravna participated in the defense of Shipka Pass. The town was liberated by Russian troops on the 8 January 1878.

Modern Zheravna

After the liberation shepherds moved their herds farther afield, families moved away, and the town entered a long decline. By the end of the Balkan Wars most of the population had left. By the middle of the 20th century the town was practically empty, and many of the once beautiful homes fell into disrepair.

In 1958 Zheravna was declared a museum town and 172 buildings received designation as historical monuments. A team of experts started the long effort of restoring the town to its previous glory.

Today Zherevna is an architectural preserve with over 200 buildings from the national revival period. Many of the wooden structures exhibit fine workmanship and preserve the lifestyle of well to do country homes. Some have become museums, others inns, restaurants and cafes.

Notable Sights in Zheravna

Saint Nicholas Church. Completed in 1834, the church was renovated in the 21st century and houses fine icons from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Yordan Yovkov Birthplace. A house museum with exhibit dedicated to the life of the famous writer. Includes an interesting map of locations around Zheravna mentioned in his works.

Sava Filaretov House Museum. Birthplace of the influential Bulgarian teacher.

Roussi Chorbadzhi House Museum. One of the oldest houses in Zheravna, almost 300 years old. A fine example of how the wealthy lived.

Famous People of Zheravna

Roussi Chorbadzhi (18th century) – Merchant and Politician
Petar Dimitrov (1848-1919) – Diplomat
Sava Filaretov (1825-1863) – Teacher and Writer
Boncho Georgiev (1849-1899) – Merchant and Politician
Todor Ikonomov (1835-1892) – Politician
Rayno Popovich (1773-1858)- Teacher and Writer
Vasil Stoyanov (1839-1910) – Philologist
Sergei Todorov (1896-1974) – Politician
Ivan Tsankov (1840-1925) – Revolutionary
Yordan Yovkov (1880-1937) – Writer

See Images of Zheravna:

Rio 2016 Bulgaria Team Introduction and Roster


When the 2016 Summer Olympic Games roll into Rio de Janeiro this week, 51 Bulgarian athletes will be there representing their homeland. Competing in 14 sports, this will be Bulgaria’s 20th appearance at the Summer Olympic Games. Here’s an introduction to the Rio 2016 Bulgaria team.

Rio 2016 Bulgaria Medal Chances

The best Bulgarian chance for taking home a medal lies with their rhythmic gymnastics team, which won the 2014 World Championship and placed 2nd in the world last year. Renata Kamberova, Mihaela Maevska, Tsvetelina Naydenova and Hristiana Todorova, all veterans of those teams, will be joined by newcomer Lyubomira Kazanova in their quest for gold.

The Bulgarian wrestling team, traditionally a strong Olympics performer, sends 11 athletes to the games this year, including a slew of bronze medal winners from the most recent World and European Championships. Vladimir Dubov (men’s freestyle 57 kg) and Taybe Yusein (women’s freestyle 63 kg), both bronze medalists at the 2015 World Championships, will need to perform at the peak of their abilities to take home medals from Rio. Daniel Aleksandrov (men’s greco-roman 75 kg), Elitsa Yankova (women’s freestyle 48 kg), and Mimi Hristova (women’s freestyle 58 kg) enter the games following strong performances in the European qualifying tournament earlier this year.

In shooting, Bulgaria will be represented by two second time Olympians, including defending European champion Anton Rizov (10m air rifle, 50m rifle 3 positions and 50m rifle prone) and 2016 European Championship silver medalist Antoaneta Boneva (women’s 10m air pistol and women’s 25m pistol). Both are underdogs hoping to improve on their out of the money finishes at the 2012 games.

Other athletes to watch are Ivaylo Ivanov (Judo, men’s 81 kg), Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva (Badminton, women’s doubles), Gabriela Petrova (Athletics, women’s triple jump), and Miroslav Kirchev (Canoeing, men’s 1000 m).

Crowd favorite Ivet Lalova, competing in her fourth Olympic Games, was recently announced as the flag bearer for the Bulgarian team.

To stay on top of the action, follow us on twitter, where we will be posting daily results for Bulgarian athletes competing in the games. Below is a complete list of Bulgarian athletes participating in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Rio 2016 Bulgaria Roster


Mitko Tsenov, 3000 m steeplechase
Rumen Dimitrov, triple jump
Georgi Ivanov, shot put
Tihomir Ivanov, high jump
Georgi Tsonov, triple jump

Silvia Danekova, 3000 m steeplechase
Ivet Lalova, 100 m and 200 m
Militsa Mircheva, marathon
Mirela Demireva, high jump
Radoslava Mavrodieva, shot put
Gabriela Petrova, triple jump


Linda Zechiri, singles
Gabriela Stoeva, doubles
Stefani Stoeva, doubles


Daniel Asenov, flyweight
Simeon Chamov, welterweight

Stanimira Petrova, flyweight


Miroslav Kirchev, men’s K-1 1000 m.
Angel Kodinov, men’s C-1 1000 m.


Stefan Hristov, men’s road race


Pancho Paskov, men’s sabre

Gymnastics (Rhythmic)

Neviana Vladinova, individual

Reneta Kamberova, team
Lyubomira Kazanova, team
Mihaela Maevska-Velichkova, team
Tsvetelina Naydenova, team
Hristiana Todorova, team


Yanislav Gerchev, men’s 60 kg
Ivaylo Ivanov, men’s 81 kg

Modern Pentathlon

Dimitar Krastanov, men’s


Georgi Bozhilov, men’s double sculls
Kristian Vasilev, men’s double sculls


Samuil Donkov, men’s 10 m air pistol, men’s 50 m pistol
Anton Rizov, men’s 10 m air rifle, men’s 50 m rifle prone, men’s 50 m rifle 3 positions

Antoaneta Boneva, women’s 10 m air pistol, women’s 25 m pistol


Ventsislav Aydarski, men’s 10 km open water
Aleksandar Nikolov, men’s 100 m freestyle

Nina Rangelova, women’s 200 m freestyle


Grigor Dimitrov, men’s singles

Tsvetana Pironkova, women’s singles


Vladimir Dubov, men’s freestyle 57 kg
Borislav Novachkov, men’s freestyle 65 kg
Georgi Ivanov, men’s freestyle 74 kg
Mihail Ganev, men’s freestyle 86 kg
Dimitar Kumchev, men’s freestyle 125 kg
Daniel Aleksandrov, men’s greco-roman 75 kg
Nikolai Bayryakov, men’s greco-roman 85 kg
Elis Guri, men’s greco-roman 98 kg

Elitsa Yankova, women’s freestyle 48 kg
Mimi Hristova, women’s freestyle 58 kg
Taybe Yusein, women’s freestyle 63 kg

Perushtitsa History Museum


A town dating to the middle ages famous as for its heroes and their suffering during the April uprising of 1876. The regional history museum is number 42 on the Bulgarian Tourist Union list of the Top 100 Tourist Sites in Bulgaria.





Nessebar (BG: Несебър) is an ancient seaside village located on a peninsula jutting into the Black Sea. Called “The Pearl of the Black Sea,” it is number 7 on the Bulgarian Tourist Union list of the top 100 tourist sites in Bulgaria, and has been included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 1983.


The earliest settlement on the site was of Thracian origin, with evidence of habitation dating back to about 1000 BCE.

It became a Greek colony in the early 6th century BCE. Called Mesembria (BG:

Remains from the Hellenistic period include the acropolis, a temple of Apollo, and an agora. A wall which formed part of the fortifications can still be seen on the north side of the peninsula. Bronze and silver coins were minted in the city since the 5th century BC and gold coins since the 3rd century BC.


Football Vocabulary Cheat Sheet

fifa world cup artwork

Just in time for World Cup 2014 in Brazil, Bulstack presents a new Football Vocabulary Cheat Sheet: World Cup Edition.

Whether you plan to view matches with friends, or just want to be able to share your thoughts in post-match talk arund the water cooler, download our handy pdf version of the cheat sheet and you are good to go!

 Download Now

Sliven Old Elm Named European Tree of the Year


The Old Elm in the center of Sliven is the overwhelming choice for European Tree of the Year 2014. In a Europe-wide poll, the venerable symbol of the city received 77,526 votes, the highest total ever for a winning tree, and over five times the number of votes for the next five finalists combined. Municipal officials attributed the lopsided result to an aggressive get-out-the-vote campaign organized by the young people of Sliven. The Old Elm joins previous winners from Hungary and Romania who have received the honor.

The Old Elm is the most important landmark in Sliven, located right next to the city hall. It is a fine example of the Field Elm (Ulmus minor), standing proud astride the main pedestrian thoroughfare in the city center. It is over 1100 years old. Citizens have gathered around the old elm for centuries, and it remains the most common meeting place for friends and visitors today.

A likeness of the tree appears on the city coat of arms.

The European Tree of the Year competition is organized by the Environmental Partnership, the largest environmental NGO in the Czech Republic. Bulgarian participation is coordinated by the Bulgarian Environmental Partnership Foundation. The competition seeks to honor trees which have an interesting story to tell and the power to unite communities.

The Good Balkans


A 20-something Englishman, Jack Hamilton traveled to Bulgaria in search of adventure, in part hoping to ferret out answers about its transition from Communist satellite to modern European state. His timing was impeccable. Working as a journalist in Sofia from 1996 to 2001, he occupied a ringside seat for some of the most tumultuous years in recent Bulgarian history. The Good Balkans is a collection of people and vignettes reflecting what Hamilton saw, heard and experienced along the way.

Hamilton touches on most of the major themes which seem to reverberate around Bulgarian society. Bulgarian nationalism, the Macedonian question, the role of old Communists, the shadow economy, local superstition and the plight of everyday Bulgarians make regular appearances throughout the book. His encounters with famous Bulgarians such as Simeon II, the last King and later Prime Minister of Bulgaria, and Ilya Pavlov, Bulgaria’s richest man when he was gunned down in 2003, provide useful insights and amusing anecdotes.

His friends and acquaintances are a veritable smorgasbord of Bulgarian characters who might seem unusually eccentric to the uninitiated outsider, but to the experienced observer embody all at once the goodness, sadness and frustration of what has become contemporary Bulgarian society.

Table of Contents:

A Blank Spot on the Map
Balkan Winter
Europe’s First Post-communist Revolution

Disappearing Treasures
Crossed Lines
Adventures with the Underclass
Disappointing a Hermit
Red Wine, Black Earth
The Macedonian Question
The Good Spirits
The Witch’s Cup
Saving My Soul

The Last of the True Marxist-Leninists
Zhivkov, Markov, and the Poisoned Umbrella
Burying the Past
The Rise and Fall of a National Capitalist
Put Not Thy Trust in Princes
Life and Death on Grafa

Who Can Stay?
Milk from the Matchmaker
Gypsy Love
An Awkward Dissident in Democracy
A Struggle for Souls
What is a Dowry Worth?

Bibliographic entry:

Hamilton, Jack. The Good Balkans: Adventures between Old and New Bulgaria, (London: Wild Man Books), 2007.

Buy The Good Balkans: Adventures in Bulgaria from Amazon today!

Bulgaria Past & Present


Bulgaria Past & Present is a collection of scholarly essays comprising the Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Bulgarian Studies, held in Varna, Bulgaria, from 13-17 June 1978.

The volume includes forty one articles on a wide variety of topics, including history, literature, economics, music, sociology, folklore and linguistics. Some of the topics, such as history and literature, are easily accessible to the curious reader. Others, such as those on linguistic matters, are perhaps only of interest to specialists.

An interesting observation is that many of the Bulgarian authors reflect the communism of the times. Undoubtedly their reports would differ if written today.

The English translations of Bulgarian authors were obviously done by Bulgarian native speakers. As a result they suffer from the typical errors of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary often encountered in Binglish colloquial usage. The volume would have benefited from the addition of at least one native English speaking editor to assist in the scholarly task.

Nevertheless, the collection is useful for anyone interested in the state of Bulgarian studies during the late 1970’s in general or the specific subject matter of the articles in particular.

Welcome to Bulgaria keeps a reference copy of this work in its library for the use of our customers.

Table of Contents:

Hristo Hristov – Russia, the West European States and the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman Rule.
Marin Pundeff – Schuyler and MacGahan before 1876.
Tsonko Genov – Januarius A. MacGahan before 1876.
James F. Clarke – Lt. Greene and the Russo Turkish War.
Liubomir Panaiotov – The Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising in 1903.
Vladimir I. Georgiev – Genesis of the Bulgarian People and the Appearance of the Bulgarian Language.
Zhana Molhova – What Does Componential Analysis Say?
Victor A. Friedman – Admirativity in Bulgarian Compared with Albanian and Turkish.
Svetomir Ivanchev – An Unusual Way of Forming Diminutives from Nouns of Masculine Gender in Bulgarian.
Eric P. Hamp – The Loss of Declension and the Definite.
Liuben Berov – Economic Relations between Bulgaria and the USA during 1918-1941.
Liubomir Dellin – United States Trade with Bulgaria – Problems and Prospects. A Report on American Research.
Raina Pesheva – The Bulgarian Family and the Traditions of National Culture.
Irwin T. Sanders – Studying Bulgarian Village Life in the 1930’s.
Roger Whitaker – Experienceing Revolutionary Change: The Role of Tradition.
Velichko Dobrianov – What is Developed socialism – Theoretical and Practical Advancements.
Philip Shashko – A Bulgarian Revenge: In Search of the Real Yorvaki-Haji Oglou.
Michael B. Petrovich – The Romantic Periodof Bulgarian Historiography: From Paissii to Drinov
Peter John Georgeoff – The Role of Education in the Bulgarian National Revival.
Gencho D. Piriov – Democratic Principles of Bulgarian Education.
Trendafil Krustanov – Origins of the Neo-Bulgarian Enlightenment.
Albert B. Lord – The Structure of Certain Bulgarian Rescue and Return Songs.
Stefana Stoikova – On the Problem of Continuity in Bulgarian epic Tradition.
G. Koolemans Beynen – The Bulgarian Animal Language Tales.
Ante Kadic – The Bulgarian Peasants as Portrayed by Elin Pelin and Iordan Iovkov.
Stefan Elevterov – America through the Eyes of Aleko Konstantinov.
Tsveta Damianova – Western European Romanticism and Bulgarian Renaissance Literature.
Petar Shopov – Linguistic Intercourse as a Basic Prerequisite for the American Missionary Work in Bulgaria.
Veselin Traikov – The First American Protestant Missionaries in Bulgaria.
Voin Bozhinov – On the Political Relations between Bulgaria and the United States of 1918-1923.
Alexandar Velichkov – On Some Aspects of Bulgarian-American Relations Immediately Before and at the Beginning of World War II.
Raina Manafova – Some Aspects of the Bulgarian-American Cultural Ties from the Liberation to the First World War.
Boriana Velcheva – Bulgarian “jers” and the Contribution of American Linguists to Their Study.
Ronelle Alexander – Directions of Morphometric Change in Bulgarian Dialects.
Iordan Penchev – Dative Pronominal Indirect Objects and Attributes in Bulgarian.
Elena Toncheva – Bulgarian Melodies in Byzantine Manuscripts of the 14th and 15th Centuries.
Boris Kremenliev – Multidisciplinary Approaches to Ethnomusicology.
Dimitar Dimitrov – Relations Between the Commmunist Party and the Agrarian Party over the Past 80 Years.
Frederick B. Chary – The Politicization of the Bulgarian Agrarian Popular Union, 1899-1901.
Iono Mitev – Alexandar Stamboliiski and the Worker-Peasant Unity.
Todor Sabev – The Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Jewish Question during the Second World War.

Bibliographic Entry:

Kosev, Dimitar, ed. Bulgaria Past & Present: Studies in History, Literature, Economics, Music, Sociology, Folklore and Linguistics. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Bulgarian Studies, 13-17 June 1978. Sofia: BAN, 1982.