Ancient traditions and customs of Bulgaria

Today we will tell you about the ancient traditions and customs of the Bulgarians, of what consists their national costume, how they relate to tourists and many other things.

Read our articles to learn more about the friendly Balkan people and its habits.

The first thing, that immediately striking when you come to Bulgaria, is, of course, very friendly and warm attitude of local population to all people. The Bulgarians always try to help, to ask what pleases and what does not, or even just make a gratuitous gift. This fact simply can not please us, as tourists.

Meals and treat from Bulgarians

Sometimes, in a hotel you can be meet with bread and salt. It is necessary to break off a piece, dip it in salt and then drink a red wine, which is served with goodies. The red color in Bulgaria symbolizes health and prosperity.

The food of Bulgarians is saturated with vegetables and fruits, also in it predominate dairy dishes, what, according to many people, promotes longevity. Breakfast is usually light, consists of milk and sweet bun, lunch – of vegetables or meat, and dinner is dense, with meat. At local restaurants and taverns can be found both traditional food of Bulgarian people, and more familiar to every tourist food.

See our separate article about nutrition in Bulgaria: Food in Bulgaria (Nessebar) – food prices.

Bulgarian national costume

Gradually, daily national clothes of the Bulgarians was replaced by more European, but on holidays people do not forget about their roots, and dress up in traditional costumes, that may vary slightly, depending on the area of the country.

Women of Kazanlak dress: dark woolen sarafan with a plunging neckline, a long white shirt, a multicolored belt and an apron of juicy colors. Shoes are made of rawhide, under them – woolen stockings with a pattern. As a headdress – a monotonous headscarf made of silk, that is tied on a crown, the left side of a head can be decorated with living flower.

And in Kyustendil, women instead of sarafans, dress hinged casement dress, which must have short sleeves.

Men traditionally wear white or yellow-brown costumes, which differ not only in a cut of trousers, but also in lots of other small details.

You can fully enjoy the splendor and diversity of national costumes of the Bulgarian people during International or important state events.

Traditions and customs of Bulgaria

All customs of the Bulgarian culture, on the one hand, is connected with paganism and the worship of ancient gods, and on the other – with prolonged stay under the influence of Thracians, Greeks and Romans. These facts have left an indelible mark on the culture of the Bulgarian people and its traditions. In this article we will briefly list the main ones.


This holiday Bulgarians celebrate at the beginning of New Year. Children go from house to house in their district and lightly beat the house owners with a wooden stick of dogwood on the back. Often, it is decorated with all sorts of dried fruits or other small items. All this is accompanied by the wishes of good health and a rich year. Owners of the house reward kids with goodies and small coins.

Todorovden, Tudoritsa

Another name of the holiday – Horse Easter, it is celebrated on February 20th. According to legends, the festival was created for giving health to horses and to young people, who got married on the eve, in winter.

On this day, women bake a special bread – a round loaf in the form of glorified animal or a horseshoe. Afterwards, they feed horses and young women this bread, to make them not only healthy, but also fertile.

The highlight of this day is considered a traditional horse racing, after which the winner arranges a round dance in the village square. At the end of the festival all participants go to his house for the continuation of fun.


It is a kind of carnival of costumed men, which symbolizes the coming of spring. Each participant makes his own terrifying mask, which is decorated with various beads and bows, or paints his face in black. During the ritual, is performed a special dance, through which evil spirits are banished. Kukersky carnival takes place during Maslenitsa.

Fire Dance

[the_ad id=”6272″] An old Bulgarian custom, which usually performs during the celebration of Saints Constantine and Helena (21 of May). Its essence is to perform a special ritual dance on hot coals for the expulsion of diseases. Trained people all day are in a closed chapel in front of icons of Saints Constantine and Helena. Not everyone is good for this honorary role. Deserve only those, who during the dance feels the presence of the Holy Spirit. Surprisingly, but people, who perform the ritual absolutely do not get burned.

The Festival of Rose

Rose for Bulgaria is a truly royal flower.

Therefore, not surprisingly, that for it has been allocated a beautiful holiday, accompanied by songs, dances, choice of Queen of Roses and final fireworks.

Festival takes place on the first Saturday and Sunday of June, when roses bloom throughout the valley, and the aroma is all around.

Commemoration of the deceased

Together with joyful traditions, we can also note more sad, which are connected with the remembrance of the deceased.

Bulgarians are very careful to the memory of their ancestors. Until our days in many cities of Bulgaria has preserved a custom to commemorate the deceased collectively.

At almost any house or gates of Nessebar can be seen specifically affixed small posters, in which the date is reported.

The cult of celebration

And also locals very like to arrange mass celebrations.

Having gathered outdoor, Bulgarians set a sumptuous table, organize various competitions with prizes.

When night falls, they make fires and sing songs until morning.

From the authors

Of course, traditions, that are described in this article, are not a complete list of the rich cultural heritage of Bulgarians. We have indicated only the most interesting, in our opinion, customs.

In addition, there are beautiful weddings and family traditions.

Useful links and interesting information: