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24 May in Bulgaria

24 May is the Day of Cyrillic Alphabet, Bulgarian Enlightment and Culture. It is beyond dispute that the Bulgarian alphabet and the first translations of liturgical books to the Slavonic language were the work of Constantine-Cyril, the Philosopher (about 827-869). Paradoxically, however, within a short period of time two alphabets - the Glagolitic and the Cyrillic - were created and, respectively, replaced, and so far scholars are not unanimous in their opinion of which one of them was created by Constantine-Cyril.

The second one was the Cyrillic alphabet which is used in our days by Bulgarians, Serbs, Montenegrins, Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, as well as by many non-Slavic peoples which belonged to the former Soviet Union. There is no doubt that both in its sounds and visual symbols it was based on the Greek uncial writing. It is assumed that this script was the work of Clement of Ohrid, one of Cyril’s followers, who paid tribute to Cyril’s deed by naming the alphabet after him. The day is celebrated by all Bulgarians. In Sofia people put flowers in front of the monument of St. Cyril and St. Methody which is situated in front of the National Library named after the two saints. This holiday is extremely important for the Bulgarian nation because it symbolizes the unity of the Bulgarian people.

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