1 January - New Year's Day
3 March - Day of the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman Domination
Easter - Two days (Sunday and Monday) that fixed for celebration, within due year
1 May - Labour day. Day of the international solidarity of the working people
6 May - Bulgarian's Army Day, St.George's Day
24 May - Day of the Slovonic Script and of the Bulgarian Education and Culture
6 September - Day of the Union of Eastern Rumelia with the Bulgarian Principality in 1885
22 September - Independence Day
1 November - Day of the leaders of the Bulgarian National Revival (general holiday for all educational institutions in Bulgaria)
24 - 26 December - Christmas Eve and Christmas
1 February - Trifon Zarezan (St. Trifon the Pruner)
Christmas - On Christmas Eve (24th December) it is crucial to have the yule-log, the table, the incense and the ritual bread. The food on the table on Christmas Eve has to be abundant, without meat and there have to be an odd number of dishes. Traditionally the following are made: boiled corn, boiled beans, sarmi (small leaves of cabbage stuffed with rice or groats), stewed dried fruit. On the table are also placed: garlic, walnuts, honey, onion, fresh fruit, kept since the summer, wine, rakiya - everything that has been produced during the year - raw or unprocessed. Raw corn is also placed on the table, together with the ring-shaped cake from Ignazhden.
Christmas Day(25th December). At midnight groups of carol singers - young single men - start to go round the houses. Before that the carol singers, called also 'koledartsi' have gathered at the home of their leader - 'stanenik'. All of them are dressed in holiday clothes. Carol singers'' posies are pinned on their fur caps, and they carry patterned poles. Gunfire signals the start of their going around the houses.
Easter - The date of this greatest and solemn Orthodox holiday is determined each year according to the moon calendar. Easter depends on when the first full moon after the day of the vernal equinox shall be. In gospel texts it is often mentioned that when alive Jesus Christ foretold more than once his own crucifixion and his Resurrection after three days. And when on the third day after his burial Maria Magdalena went with other women into his tomb in order to put fragrant oils on his body according to the ancient Judaic tradition, she found that the tomb was empty. Preparations for the holiday are carried on during the whole preceding week. Red Easter eggs are usually dyed on Holy Thursday or on Good Friday. With the first egg dyed in red the oldest woman of the household makes crosses on the foreheads of the children in order for them to be healthy and pink-cheeked during the year. This egg is placed in front of the home icon, in the chest with the maiden's dowry or is buried in the middle of the field to protect it from hail. Easter is celebrated for three days.
Palm Sunday - Palm Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday after St. Lazar's Day, a week before Easter and is one of the best spring holidays. It is devoted to the solemn welcoming of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem with olive and ivory branches. This is why on that day everyone goes to church mass carrying willow branches, posies of crane's bill and other spring flowers. After the willow wreaths are inaugurated by the priest, they are brought home and are placed in front of the home icon. The women use them to charm against evil eyes and illnesses. Often, when it begins to thunder or when it hails, they bring the willow wreaths into the yard and saying magic spells, they look through them at the cloud to make the thunder and hail go away.
St. Lazar's day - The Orthodox Christian Church dedicates St. Lazar's day to St. Lazar, whom Jesus Christ raised from the dead on the fourth day after his burial to show him his gratitude for his hospitability. Our people call the holiday 'Lazar', 'Lazaritsa' or 'Lazar's Saturday'. It does not have a fixed date in the calendar. It is always on Saturday, a week before Easter. It is characterized with several particularly interesting and ancient maiden's customs -'lazaruvane', 'kumichene' and 'boenek'. Early in the morning on St. Lazar's day the dancers ('lazarki'), clad in new and clean maidens' national costumes, decorated with wreaths and fresh posies on their heads start, in groups, going round the houses of the village. All the time they sing holiday ritual songs and perform their ritual dance, most often called 'boenek'.
St. George's Day - St. George's Day is one of the most important Christian holidays for the Bulgarians and it sets the beginning of a new working year. Nowadays it is celebrated as the shepherd's day, because according to people's notions St. George is the guardian of shepherds. In the national songs people sing for him with respect and love, and the saint is characterized as good-looking, green and dear. Early in the morning on the holiday women and children gather fresh flowers from the meadows and decorate with them the doors and windows of their houses. They drop in copper coins and crane's bill, in order for the sheep to give milk. They gather dew from the grass and wash themselves with it. The owners go with a patterned ring-shaped cake to the sheep-pens and milk the first milk. All Bulgarian people named George celebrate this day. St. George is the guardian of the Bulgarian army. St. George's Day is their professional holiday.
'Baba Marta' - The month of March is the only women's month and its most prominent symbol is the 'martenitsa' (twined tasseled red and white thread), symbolizing the awakening and the cult of the sun. This is the month of conception, of spring and earth, which will bear the summer and fertility. The white colour initially symbolized the men's part - strength, light. The red is the women's part - health. It is the sign of blood , conception and birth. We have to remember that the original women's wedding dresses were red. The holiday is called Baba Marta (Grandmother March) and is celebrated on 1 March. The martenintsa is a charm against evil powers and decorating oneself with a martenitsa is a magical ritual act. The twined white and red woolen threads protect the person via the methods of the contact magic.
Fire-dancing - Fire-dancing is a Bulgarian rite in which the main ritual element is dancing on fire. It is performed in several villages between the Strandzha Mountains and the Black Sea on the holiday of St. Konstantin and Elena. The whole village participates in the festival. But only the chosen - the fire-dancers take part in the ritual dancing. They are considered to be chosen by the patron saint of the holiday, they can see him, they can 'hear' his voice, his spirit inspires them, they become 'possessed'. They can see with his eyes into the future, they can solve secrets, give advice, reproach. Fire-dancers can be men and women of different ages, but of the same kin, and their skill is inherited by the daughters and sons. The 'Stolnina' of the fire-dancers is a small chapel in the house of the main woman fire-dancer. In the center of the icon-stand, which faces east, are placed the icons of St Konstantin and St. Elena, surrounded by the icons of the God's Mother, St. George, St. Panteleymon, Holy Land patterns and red kerchiefs with a picture of the sun on them.