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As Christmas draws nearer, holiday cheer sweeps over Bulgaria

| updated on 12/4/23 3:59 PM
Photo: BGNES

The Christmas tree of Sofia was put up in the pedestrian zone in the centre of the Bulgarian capital city – the area around the St. Alexander Nevski cathedral.

“Christmas is a special time of the year when our homes glow with warmth and cheer, hope and a sense of peace,” said Sofia’s new mayor Vassil Terziev. 

He says he wants the city to be a place that gives wings for dreaming, and the festive characters from the tree-lighting ceremony seem to have done just that.

Illuminated dolls were an element of the interactive performance Lumini

Throughout December, the square around St. Alexander Nevski cathedral and the St. Sofia church will play host to a string of concerts and various events, dubbed “The light inside you”. 

A book bazaar at the National Palace of Culture, numerous Christmas villages and all kinds of different events add to the holiday atmosphere.

The second biggest city in Bulgaria – Plovdiv has a Christmas tree that is 13 m. high and has more than 4,000 green twigs. The tree comes from the only Christmas tree maker in the Balkans from the nearby town of Rakovski. It weighs approximately 1 ton, 1.5 tons with the decorations, the Bulgarian news agency BTA reports. Throughout December, the city will play host to a number of colourful events connected with tradition, history and culture.

The Christmas and New Year festival kicked off in Ruse as the lights were lit on the city’s Christmas tree – a big naturally-growing tree in front of city hall. 

The festival programme this year features concerts, shows, Christmas dancing and a Christmas cake workshop. A Christmas bazaar in the central square Svoboda (Freedom), will add to the holiday spirit, and there will be an ice rink in front of the building of the Ruse opera house.

The Christmas tree in Pleven was lit on the first day of December. Elves gave the kids treats, there were fireworks and some of the people gathered to watch started a horo dance.

The air in the picturesque town of Sozopol on the seacoast is sweet with the smell of cinnamon cake and mulled wine. 

The magic of winter in the ancient seaside town is captivating. 

Sozopol too will have a diverse festive programme, which will go on until the New Year. It will kick off with a salted fish festival organized by the municipality and the local Rotary club, to be followed in the coming days with multiple workshops for children, as well as fund-raising bazaars and many other events. 

The Christmas bazaar in the square of the old town will be the place where people in Sozopol will ring in the new year.

The shop windows in Burgas are lit up invitingly already, but the Christmas tree will be lit up officially on 6 December, Nikulden (St. Nicholas Day) who is the city’s patron saint. Admission is free to the museums and galleries on the territory of Burgas, and several exhibitions and open-air concerts in different locations are just some of the events this holiday season.

Varna will let the holiday spirit out of the bottle with a children’s concert and fireworks on 6 December.  

The Christmas tree in Tryavna.

The Christmas tree was lit up in the central square of Kyustendil.


Compiled by Yoan Kolev

Translated and posted by Milena Daynova

Photos: BTA, BGNES, Facebook/Sozopol-salvation town

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