Language and Culture


National Library of BulgariaSt.St. Cyril and Methofius- Authors of the Glagolitic Alphabet

Bulgarian is a Southern Slavic language with about 12 million speakers mainly in Bulgaria, but also in Ukraine, Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey, Greece, Canada, USA, etc.

Bulgarian was the first Slavic language to be written: it start to appear in writing during the 9th century in the Glagolitic alphabet, which was gradually replaced by an early version of the Cyrillic alphabet over the following centuries.

Two brothers - St.St.Cyril and Methodius, invented the Slavonic alphabet in 865 A.D., in the time of the three-tongue dogma according to which God could be worshipped in Latin, Greek or Hebrew only - the languages of the inscription on the cross that  Pontius Pilate ordered to make. Cyril's efforts to preach in a Slavic language was, for the time, an intellectual and political success in Europe.So Bulgarian became the fourth literary language in Europe and the first new language that was introduced in European culture and religion. St.St.Cyril and Methodius were depicted as saints and called equal to the apostles, the top rung in the Christian hierarchy. Their lifework procured them their position in European history and iconography.

Now Bulgarian is the first Slavic language, officially recognized in the European Union.

Many Turkish words were adopted into Bulgarian during the long period of Ottoman rule. Words have also been borrowed from Latin, Greek, Russian, French, Italian, and German and increasingly from English.


Bulgaria has a rich and century-old cultural history. With the adoption of Christianity in the 9th century, Bulgarian culture became an integral part of the European culture.  Hundreds of cultural sites are dotted throughout Bulgaria. Some of the most important archaeological sites in Europe are located within Bulgaria’s borders with new discoveries still being made.

You will find the essence of the Bulgarian culture in the books, in museums, in opera and concert halls.You will only need some time and desire.

There are many sites in Bulgaria worth a visit. Nine of them have been given UNESCO World Heritage status.

Bulgaria has retained a great number of traditional celebrations. Almost every week there is a folklore or religious celebration taking place somewhere in Bulgaria.  Cultural events are held throughout the year.  The Orthodox Easter is the most special of all religious festivities. The painting of eggs tradition survived even during Communism, when religious activities were not widely practiced.

Bulgarian Traditional Costumes from the Rhodope Region