A Brief Introduction to Bulgaria


Bulgaria is a sovereign state located in Central Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Turkey and Greece to the south, North Macedonia to the southwest and Serbia to the west. The capital city is Sofia. The official language is bulgarian. The majority of the population are Eastern Orthodox Christians. Bulgaria is rich in natural resources, including huge reserves of lignite and anthracite coal and non-ferrous metals such as silver, copper and zinc. It is also home to diverse flora and fauna, such as suslik (rock partridge), chamois, capercaillie and wall creeper, as well as bears, wolves, foxes and lynxes.

The flag of Bulgaria consists of two crossed oak branches with acorns. It represents the power and strength of the Bulgarian nation. The national colours are red, white and green. The national coat of arms features a shield shaped like the crowns of the emperors of the Second Bulgarian Empire. On top of the shield are five crosses and an additional cross. Two crowned rampant golden lions support the shield from both sides.

In ancient times, the Bulgars were a mixture of Thracian, Romanized and Hellenized Slavic tribes. The three largest tribes merged under Khan Kubrat in the seventh century to form Old Great Bulgaria, which was located in what is now southern Ukraine and Russia. The rulers were hereditary khans, and their aristocratic families formed the governing class. The religion of the aristocracy was Monotheism, and the khans were the supreme religious and secular authorities of their kingdoms.

Today, Bulgaria is a democratic republic with a president who serves a five-year term and is eligible for one reelection. The president serves as the commander in chief of the armed forces, schedules elections and referenda, represents Bulgaria abroad and concludes international treaties. The President also has the right to return legislation to the National Assembly for further debate – a kind of veto.

Modern Bulgarian has lost its ancient declensional system, but the personal pronouns retain the grammatical case, and some nouns still have different forms in direct object, genitive, instrumental and vocative cases. A tendency towards avoiding the vocative form in foreign names persists, but this is less obvious with names from Classical Antiquity when the vocative form was common.

The cuisine of Bulgaria is largely Slavic, but with Turkish, Greek and Mediterranean influences. The country is a major wine producer and has a strong tradition of beer making. It is known for its Thracian and Slavic folklore, and has preserved many pagan traditions, such as the ritual of kukeri (similar to Slovenian Kurentovanje, Busojaras and Halloween), which is performed in various times of the year and after Easter. Bulgarian wines are famous throughout the world.