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Petko St. Petkov


The report looks at the development of the official Bulgarian holiday calendar and especially during the years of state socialism. The analysis shows that military victories are not the primary motive in choosing official memorial days. Even the Bulgarian military exploits are not of special honor in forming the official state holiday of new Bulgaria. The festive calendar does not include the victories for the Bulgarians of the Middle Ages, and there are no new military exploits in the twentieth century. During the period of socialism, the holidays of May 1 (International Labor Day) and September 9 (1944), proclaimed as "Freedom Day" in 1945, became the main focus. Like all other events in the life of the People's Republic, the holiday is used for a purely functional purpose - to unite, to emphasize unity, to reaffirm loyalty to the ruling party and the new ideology, to show confidence in the imminent onset of prosperity and a "bright future" - communism. Particular attention is paid to substantiating the claim that the Third March was imposed as a national holiday by communist rule in the early 1990s. It is not as suitable for this role as the oldest all-Bulgarian holiday on May 24th. It is because of public holidays, incl. and the only national one so far (March 3) have always been determined by political decisions - until 1944 of the monarch, the National Assembly, and a specially authorized ministry, and after 1944 - predominantly the Council of Ministers or the State Council, rarely at the National Assembly.

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Petkov, Petko. 2020. “HISTORICAL MEMORY AND OFFICIAL HOLIDAYS IN BULGARIA UNDER SOCIALISM”. EthnoAnthropoZoom/ЕтноАнтропоЗум 20 (20), 271-97. https://etno.pmf.ukim.mk/index.php/eaz/article/view/467.
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