Customs and traditions
With regard to traditions and customs,
Bulgaria has many similarities with the other Balkans
and with other neighboring countries. Among the ethnic
Bulgarians, many identify strongly with the Bulgarian
Orthodox Church, including as bearers of the country's
culture and language. The country also houses many other
ethnic groups that partly have their own traditions.
People who are unfamiliar with each other often
appear more formal than a Swede is used to. You address
each other by title or Mr / Mrs and surname, and shake
hands. Those who know each other well use first names,
and men can embrace each other while women kiss on the
cheek. You may want to maintain direct eye contact
during a call.
Overview of the capital city of Bulgaria, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.
Ordinary main guests are in conflict with what is
common in most of Europe - a nod means "no" and shaking
their heads (sideways) means "yes".
In a business context, punctuality is important. In
social contexts, times are more flexible. If you are
invited home to someone, it is advisable to bring a
chocolate box or other sweets, or a bottle of wine or
liquor. The idea is more important than value - you can
avoid expensive gifts. Gifts that are wrapped are
usually opened at once.
In formal invitations, it is advisable not to take
more food than you can handle - it is a way to show
appreciation for the food. Glass is refilled as soon as
they are emptied, you do not want any more should you
leave a little on the bottom.
The cuisine is typical of southeastern Europe. Bread
is an important staple, as are milk products. Yogurt -
kiselo mljako - has a central place, like the
cheeses siren reminiscent of fat and hard
cheese cassava, made from sheep's milk. Salads
are always included in the meals. Pork and lamb are
common, and especially on the coast you eat a lot of
fish. Banitsa is a type of pie that is often
filled with cheese but can also be filled with meat,
vegetables and sweet ingredients. The Bulgarians produce
their own wine and there are many mineral water sources
in the country. Fruit brandy, rakija, is
considered a national drink here as well as in many
other Balkan countries.
In connection with work, men usually dress in dark
suits and women in relatively strict business attire.
The Liberation Day on March 3 celebrates Bulgaria's
liberation from the Ottoman Empire in 1878, while
Independence Day on September 22 is celebrated in memory
of the actual independence of the Ottomans in 1908 (see
also Ancient History).
May 6 is Saint Georg's day when you also celebrate
the Bulgarian army.
On May 24, Bulgarian culture and education, and
Slavic writing, are celebrated on the day of Kyrillos
and Methodius. They were Byzantine 800s missionaries and
created the Cyrillic alphabet.
The unity day on September 6 is held in memory of
Bulgaria's association with Ístrumelien1885. The leaders
of the national awakening will be celebrated on November
1 - then honor all Bulgarians who are considered to have
contributed to strengthening Bulgarian culture and the
New Year's Day is also a holiday, like May 1 and the
same three Christmas days as in Sweden. The Orthodox
Easter includes four days of varying dates.
Baba Marta ("Grandma March") is celebrated on March 1
and is a pre-Christian spring party when people give
each other martinitsas - bracelets made of red
and white threads (it's not a "red" day).
The road network in Bulgaria holds a fairly
high standard. The main roads and railways have been
maintained with international financial support.
Large parts of truck traffic between Europe and the
Middle East pass through Bulgaria, which itself carries
out extensive international freight traffic.
The first highway across the country - from Sofia to
the coastal city of Burgas - was completed in 2013 after
many years of delays.
The railway is state. Most major resorts can be
reached by train, and there are also connections to all
neighboring countries. Sofia has a subway and a tramway.
The Danube is an important shipping route, not least
for trade with central Europe. The most important Danube
ports are located in the cities of Ruse and Vidin.
Burgas and Varna on the Black Sea are home ports for the
large Bulgarian merchant fleet.
The former state-owned airline Bulgaria Air took over
private ownership in 2006. Sofia, Burgas, Varna and
Plovdiv have international airports. The latter two are
mostly used for domestic flights and charter tourism.
The retirement age is gradually increased
Parliament is voting for a contentious reform that will gradually raise the
Plevneliev wins presidential election
Gerb's candidate Rosen Plevneliev wins the second round of the presidential
election with 52.6 percent of the vote, against 47.4 percent for Socialist Party
candidate Ivaljo Kalfin. Plevneliev has so far been Minister responsible for
regional development and public works. In the first round of elections a week
earlier, he received 40 percent of the vote compared to 29 percent for Kalfin.
In third place came Meglena Kuneva, Bulgaria's first EU Commissioner who was
previously a member of NDSV. Parvanov, who has served two terms of office, was
not allowed to stand. In the municipal elections held simultaneously with the
presidential election, Gerb retains control in major cities, including Sofia and
Hatehold outcomes against the Romans
Protests and attacks against Roma erupt after a 19-year-old was driven over
by car and the blame was placed on a Roma with links to organized crime.
Protesters claim that Roma receive privileges in taxes, social benefits and
Schengen entry is stopped
Finland and the Netherlands veto the admission of Bulgaria and Romania to the
Schengen Passport Union. They refer to problems with, among other things,
corruption and organized crime. In June, the European Parliament had given the
go-ahead to allow the new EU members to join.
Donations to the police are stopped
The government stops private donations to the police, following criticism in
the EU Commission's evaluation of Bulgaria's fight against corruption. Some of
the donations that the Ministry of the Interior has received have come from
persons under legal investigation.
Explosion attacks against newspaper
An explosive charge explodes outside the opposition newspaper Galeria's
premises. Galeria has published documents that point to the irregularities of
senior government officials, including Prime Minister Borisov. The day after the
explosion, the head of the security service leaves.