Religions in Bulgaria

St Alexandr Nevskiy Cathedral.jpg

SOFIA'S TEMPLES, PART 1

They are all over Sofia; some with shining domes, some old and crumbling, and some housed in inconspicuous grey buildings. Through the many places of worship in Sofia you can trace back the history of the city for nearly two millennia, although many were only built during the last 150 years and bear the marks of wars and Communism.

Wed, 03/10/2010 - 14:32
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pomaks bulgaria.jpg

WHO ARE THE POMAKS?

The wind of change does not blow with equal force everywhere. When you replace your old Walkman with the latest iPod, you make a small change in your standard of living. When someone who is not Spanish or Greek begins using Mañana or σιγά σιγά when talking business, this is a change in their way of thinking. However, when you change your religion, this fundamentally alters your whole life – the new religion is a new way of viewing the world.

Mon, 06/01/2009 - 21:16
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alians bulgaria.jpg

FAITH AND ROSES

You can almost feel the sap rising in the grass, flowers and foliage in the meadow. Spring is at its height and summer is just around the corner. The crust of the spit-roasted lamb is brown. The fat dripping onto the flames returns to the air as aromatic smoke, which mixes with the hubbub produced by the crowd who have gathered in the open to celebrate 6 May in the same way as their ancestors did – with songs, dancing and roast lamb.

Fri, 05/01/2009 - 03:56
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Sunset over Jerusalem as seen from Mount Zion

WANTING TO DO THE HAJJ, BUT ENDING UP WITH A HADZH INSTEAD

A cross from Jerusalem or a phial of water from the Jordan: these are the most likely souvenirs from the Holy Land that you will get if a Bulgarian friend of yours goes to Jerusalem for Easter. Whatever feelings you may have about such kinds of presents, bear in mind that you should congratulate the one who gives them to you with Chestito hadzhiystvo and address him at least once with "hadzhi".

Sun, 04/01/2007 - 17:56
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christmas in bulgaria.jpg

MERRY CHRISTMAS

The Bulgarian name for Christmas, Koleda, still bears traces of the holiday's pagan origin: the Roman festival Kalendae, celebrated on 25 December, the day when the new sun was born. Despite some minor differences, both Anglican and Orthodox Christmases have gradually lost their religious significance. They have been commercialised and, for many, are now just another excuse for a shopping binge.

Fri, 12/01/2006 - 13:03
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to veil or not to veil.jpg

TO VEIL OR NOT TO VEIL

"She probably studies medicine," a young man says to his friend as their eyes appreciatively follow the pretty girl in a headscarf as she crosses Dzhumayata, Plovdiv's central square.

This presumption is probably correct as the Medical University in Plovdiv attracts students from Turkey who don't feel they can comply with the ban on wearing headscarves in educational establishments in their native country.

Wed, 11/01/2006 - 11:30
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sofia mosque vintage postcard.jpg

RAMADAN 2006

The Muslim month of fasting called Ramadan, or Ramazan in Turkish, began on 24 September. Muslims believe that on one of the days toward the end of the month - the 25, 27 or 29, it is not known exactly which - the Prophet Muhammad received the first revelations of the Qur'an from Allah.

Sun, 10/01/2006 - 16:25
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