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Bulgaria Celebrates Day of Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius, Bulgarian Alphabet, Education and Culture, and of Slavic Literature

Bulgaria celebrates the Day of the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius, of the Bulgarian Alphabet, Education and Culture, and of Slavic Literature on May 24.
May 24 commemorates the work of the brothers Constantine (Cyril) (827-869) and Methodius (815-885), Byzantine missionaries born in Salonica, who devised the Glagolitic in AD 855 or 862-863. The Cyrillic, from which the modern Slav nations’ alphabets are derived, came 40-50 years later, c. AD 902-912. Like the Roman script, it was adapted by scholars of the Preslav Literary School from the Greek alphabet, borrowing the latter’s all 24 characters and adding 24 new ones for specific Slav sounds.
The Slav alphabet was adopted in Bulgaria in AD 886 as a vehicle of enforcing Old Bulgarian as the single national and liturgical language. From Bulgaria, the script spread to other Slav countries and is now used by some 250 million people worldwide in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, North Macedonia and Croatia. Romania also used the Cyrillic until the late 1870s. The alphabets of some non-Slav languages, like Kazakh, Mongolian, Ossetian, Tatar and Tajik, are also based on the Cyrillic script.
More than a third of the original 48 Cyrillic letters have been dropped in modern Bulgarian, which makes do with a 30-character alphabet (spelling was last reformed in 1945).
As Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, the Cyrillic became the third official EU alphabet after the Latin and the Greek ones. On May 2, 2013, the European Central Bank put into circulation a new EUR 5 banknote on which, for the first time, the name of the single currency and the abbreviation ‘ECB’ (European Central Bank) are written in the Cyrillic alphabet.
The day is traditionally marked by paying floral tributes to monuments of the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius and festivities at schools, community centres and libraries.