On November 1, Bulgaria marks National Awakeners Day commemorating its writers, scholars, educators and freedom-fighters. The day is marked by Bulgarians worldwide.
President Rumen Radev, who is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, reviewed the guard of honour and made an address on the celebration of National Awakeners Day. “For over a century now, November 1 has reminded us of the shining example of our nation’s most worthy representatives,” he said.
The national flag was raised in front of the President’s Administration building earlier in the day.
Opening the government’s weekly meeting, the Prime Minister congratulated Bulgarians on the National Awakeners Day. “This is a holiday that unites us through the names of Ivan of Rila, Cyril and Methodius, Patriarch Euthymius, our heroes of the Renaissance and the Liberation,” Denkov stressed.
Addressing the nation on National Awakeners Day, Education and Science Minister Galin Tsokov said Bulgaria is probably the only country in the world which has a day dedicated to its writers, scholars, educators and freedom-fighters. He stressed that on this day it is important to support today’s awakeners: teachers, academics, researchers, artists and discoverers of talent, the Education and Science Ministry said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel wrote on Facebook that honouring spiritual leaders affirms the Bulgarian people’s traditional strive for knowledge, filling them with national pride and self-esteem. In her words, on this day Bulgarians pay respects to all individuals in their history who gave their lives for Bulgarian freedom and independence with the power of words.
Patriarch Neophyte of Bulgaria also addressed the Bulgarians: “National Awakeners Day is a celebration of the free and enlightened Bulgarian spirit. Such a celebration can only be held by a nation that does not know resignation, that is aware of the importance of its spiritual, cultural and state tradition, and of its identity among the diversity of peoples and cultures of the world that we live in.”
National Awakeners Day is dedicated to the work of persons of letters, enlighteners, national freedom fighters, who preserved over the centuries the nation’s spiritual values and moral. Among the hundreds of them are Paisius of Hilendar, Gregory Tsamblak, Constantine of Kostenets, Vladislav the Grammarian, St John of Rila, Neophyte Bozveli, the Miladinov brothers Dimitar and Konstantin, Georgi Stoykov Rakovski, Vassil Levski, Hristo Botev, Ivan Vazov, Stefan Karadzha, Hadzhi Dimitar, Lyuben Karavelov, and Dobri Chintulov.
The holiday was first observed informally in Plovdiv (South Central Bulgaria) in 1909. In 1923, King Boris III signed a law introducing National Awakeners Day as a day of remembrance of distinguished Bulgarians. Banned by the communist regime in 1945, it was reinstated in 1992.