On 1 November, Bulgaria remembers the reassertion of their national culture after centuries of relative assimilation and overshadowing by other nations, in the public holiday called “Day of the Bulgarian Enlighteners”.
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Note: Day of the Bulgarian Enlighteners is a holiday for all educational institutions only.
Day of the Bulgarian Enlighteners celebrates the leaders and the movement that led to a revival of pride in what it means to be Bulgarian. This movement also laid the groundwork for the eventual independence of the modern nation of Bulgaria.
After conquest by the Ottoman Empire and five centuries of sometimes oppressive rule by the Ottomans, the phrase “Bulgarian culture” seemed almost like a contradiction in terms. But that began to change in the 18th Century when a Bulgarian literature was revived and a corresponding Bulgarian cultural and national identity began to revive along with it.
Since 1922, Bulgarians have been marking 1 November with a Day of the Bulgarian Enlighteners parade, where both students and teachers march together. Only during the dark days of Communist rule was the holiday discontinued. Today, there are numerous parades all over Bulgaria every 1 November, along with special free passes at museums and art galleries and other festive and educational events.