Cyrillic Alphabet Day

Last Saturday was the Cyrillic Alphabet Day, the day to celebrate the alphabet developed by brothers Saints Cyrill and Methodius. The street infront of the municipality was blocked off and in front of the giant Soviet statue in town students from all over the city preformed.

The event lasted about two hours or so and it involved choreographed dancing, singing, marching and other preformances. This is probably one of the biggest holidays in Bulgaria, after St. George’s Day.

The introduction of the Cyrillic alphabet was of enormous importance. More that any other development it prevent the absorption of the Bulgarians by the Greeks to their south or the Franks to their west. It enable the Bulgarians to create their own literature. …The new alphabet also faciliatated the production of important secular texts such as legal code, Zakon Sudnii Liudim (Закон Судий Лиудим); and without an alphabet it is difficult to imagine how the Bulgarian state could have carried out administration in the Slavo-Bulgarian language. Above all, however, the new alphabet enabled the Bulgarian church to use Slavo-Bulgarian as the language of the liturgy, and had it not been able to do this it would have been impossible for the Bulgarian church to escape total Greek domination. –A Concise History of Bulgaria

As you can see, the Cyrillic alphabet had a huge impact on Bulgaria and its course in history. Without Cyrillic, Bulgarian culture would have been desemated during the “Turkish Yoke” that lasted 500 years. Bulgarian traditions, culture and language survived in the monasteries throughout the country and made a revival in the 19th century. Bulgarians realize this and they rightfully set aside a day every year to celebrate their language, and by extension, their 500 year survival during the Ottoman Empire.

[Ottoman] domination was without a doubt at times extrememly repressive but the Bulgarian nation, the Bulagrian  church, and the Bulgarian language survived. When the Ottomans departed from Bulgaria the Bulgarians still spoke Bulgarian and Bulgarian manufacturing has flourished as a supplier to the Ottoman army; when British rule ended in southern Ireland the Irish language was almost dead and Irish industry had been stifled to prevent competition with British manufacturers.–A Conciese History of Bulgaria



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