Bulgarian wine

trifon zarezan.jpg

14 FEBURARY DILEMMA

The question "What to do on St Valentine's Day?" can be frustrating. For those in a relationship, there is the what-to-buy-this-year horror, while for some singles there is the feeling of loneliness. The anti-globalists become incensed at the heart-shaped mania that is taking over the world and the cynics point to the billions of dollars generated by the sales of romantic lingerie, chocolate and holidays. It is hard to deny that most of the red or pink trivia sold everywhere before 14 February – plus the music on the radio and the movies on the TV – are outrageously kitschy.

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 16:23
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TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE

When the tide of expats flowed into Bulgaria about ten years ago, the newcomers discovered that they weren't the first foreigner to arrive, settle down and feel comfortable in the country following the collapse of Communism. At that time, Eastern Orthodox Bulgaria had already welcomed another vagabond; St Valentine, the Roman Catholic patron saint of romantic love. It was not a big deal, in fact, as all around the world, regardless of their religion, people celebrate their love with chocolates, red satin hearts and teddy bears.

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 14:22
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WINE, WINE, WINE & WINE

Winter in Bulgaria wouldn't be complete without the endless name day celebrations, quivering slabs of slanina, or salted pork fat, and litres of rich red wine. In January and February alone you'll be required to do damage to your liver and waistline on Vasilyovden, or St Basil's Day; Yordanovden, or St Jordan's Day; Ivanovden, or St John's Day; Antonovden, or St Anthony's Day; Atanasovden, or St Athanasius's Day; and, of course, Trifon Zarezan, the winegrower's holiday on 14 February, which many people also celebrate on 1 February.

Thu, 01/01/2009 - 13:20
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ST VALENTINE VERSUS ST TRIFON ZAREZAN

You may not particularly like Bulgarian streets because of their narrow pavements, missing flagstones and parked cars, but you will probably not notice these shortcomings on 14 February. Shops and pubs are decorated with hearts and pink balloons, women are more beautiful than usual and young people are kissing on every corner.

And then you encounter a group of Bulgarians who are obviously slightly tipsy. The mixed company loudly praises Trifon Zarezan. Several yards further you come across a baffling scene.

Thu, 02/01/2007 - 08:33
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PELIN

The saying "bitter like pelin" aptly describes the opinion of a large part of the drinking community, and probably of all teetotallers, in Bulgaria. They believe that this wormwood wine is definitely not to die for.

But the strange drink - neither wine, nor sangria, nor aperitif a la Fernet - has enough fans among the rest of the population. So many, in fact, that the EU has agreed to accept it as a Bulgarian trademark denoting an aromatic wine-based drink.

Fri, 12/01/2006 - 15:15
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