When you visit Bulgaria you’ll discover a country rich in both history and cuisine. Bulgarian food is often rooted in traditional local dishes, and while many of them may seem familiar to visitors from other parts of Europe, there are several unique aspects that set these meals apart from others.
Bulgarians are incredibly proud of their cuisine, and are often eager to share it with guests visiting their home. For this reason, it’s common for dinner parties to serve a variety of regional dishes so that everyone can taste the wide range of Bulgarian flavors.
Throughout the year, the Bulgarian people are treated to numerous festivals and celebrations. These events are meant to honor the many different cultures and religions that make up the country, as well as highlight the natural beauty of the landscape. In the spring, the country celebrates Saint George’s Day with a parade of horses and an open-air opera. In the summer, a number of music festivals take place across the country, including the Jazz Festival in Sofia and the Rock Fest in Plovdiv.
Another popular event is the annual carnival, which begins in January and usually takes place for about a week. The festival features dancers and actors dressed in elaborate costumes. It is also a time for young people to socialize and dance.
Although the majority of the population is Christian, Bulgarian culture has a diverse religious heritage. In addition to Christianity, Islam and Judaism are both widely practiced in the country. The Bulgarian language is the South Slavic language, and the Cyrillic alphabet is used to write it. While many younger people are fluent in English, older Bulgarians tend to favor Russian as their second language.
While the country is relatively new to the European Union, its political system has a long tradition of democracy. The country is a parliamentary republic, and the constitution guarantees basic freedoms, including free press and freedom of assembly. The constitution also protects private property.
In recent years, the Bulgarian economy has been growing steadily. The country is a major producer of steel and coal, and has a number of other natural resources. Despite this, unemployment remains high in the country.
Family is a central aspect of Bulgarian society, and the people are largely oriented toward the preservation of traditions. Family members generally live together and defer to parental authority in the home. The majority of the country’s population is married, and property is often divided among all heirs rather than going to a single heir.
Rakia is the national alcoholic drink of Bulgaria, and it’s made by distilling fermented fruits or wine. Its initial color is clear, but it can be colored by aging or by adding herbs. Its alcohol content varies between 40% and 66%, and it is most commonly served at room temperature or mulled in winter. When visiting a Bulgarian’s home, it is customary to bring a gift of flowers. However, be careful not to give chrysanthemums or lilies, as these are associated with funerals.