Hundreds of years of occupation by different civilizations have resulted in a rich and varied Bulgarian culture that is a mix of Slavic, Thracian, and Bulgarian, along with other influences including Byzantine, Greek, Turkish, Roman, and Gypsy. Stories and folklore passed down the ages form a vital part of Bulgarian people and many legends and traditions continue to play an important role in modern generations of Bulgarian families.
What Culture in Bulgaria has to offer
Song, dance, music, costumes and jewelry all form part of the rich Bulgarian heritage.
There is a great deal of historic culture to be discovered in Bulgaria.
Much of this fascinating history can be found in exhibitions at the National Museum of History in Sofia as well as the local museums in several of the regional towns. There are many valuable remnants of prehistoric cultures throughout Bulgaria and several important caves feature the traces of Paleolithic and Neolithic cultures.
There are also fine examples of Thracian treasures, burial tombs, and beautiful frescoes.
The Rogozen treasure is one of the largest collections of ancient artifacts found in Bulgaria to date.
Discovered in North West Bulgaria between 1985 and 1986, over 165 pieces of silver and other items were found, and it is the largest single collection ever discovered in South Eastern Europe.
Bulgaria culture features many festivals based on ancient tradition and folklore. Dancing on Fire is one of the most spectacular of these rituals and visitors to Bulgaria can watch, spellbound, as barefoot dancers leap across burning embers.
The Festival of Roses takes place during the first weekend in June in the town of Kazanluk and singers, artists, writers, actors, and circus performers, all gather at the Queen Rose Beauty Contest.
In the springtime, the Kukeri Carnival is a festival of masks and costumes involving the ancient tradition of wearing bells around the waist to drive away sickness evil spirits.
Music has long been a traditional part of Bulgaria culture.
Bulgarian folk music contains complex harmonies and many of the old fashioned dances are still performed at country folk festivals and weddings. Traditional dances are performed in circles or lines, either singly or in pairs.
After centuries of use within the Bulgarian home, many handicrafts have now become art forms in their own right. Bulgarian pottery is one of these art forms on the rise.
Rug making, embroidery, fretwork and jewelry making are all part of the rich cultural heritage of Bulgaria. There are several museums in Bulgaria with permanent exhibitions of Bulgarian handicrafts on show.