Archive for the ‘Traditions’ Category

Season’s greetings to you all!

Bozhentsi, Bulgaria

Heritage village of Bozhentsi, Bulgaria.

Putting to one side all those daft doom-laden prophecies, idiotic political leaders, gun-toting Americans, the tragedy of the Middle East, and so much more that troubles us; philinsofia wishes to thank all you readers, wherever you are, whatever you believe in (or not), and to wish you




Thanks for registering your ‘Likes’, and for going to the effort of submitting comments on various posts published throughout the year.

I’m happy to report almost 6,000 views during 2012, despite the glitch earlier in the year.

So, philinsofia raises a small glass of rakia to you all!

Image: personal archive.



Bulgarian folk song

Click on the image to view the performance.

… while I’m having a bit of a snigger (I sincerely hope) at unconfirmed USA Cold War pretensions and showmanship, my wife (seated opposite me) has been listening to some Bulgarian folk music.

This is what she was playing: The Great Voices of Bulgaria – “Lale li si”. Relax! Decide what you are![1]

[1]: YouTube

What’s in a name? Celebration!

name day apostle philip

Nice grapes!

On 14th. November, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church celebrates the day of the Apostle Philip.

So I got myself a Name Day!

One of the delightful traditions here is that, whether one is religious or not, one celebrates friend and family Name Days (Имен ден).

It’s a day for the recipient to receive good wishes for health, happiness, wealth, good fortune, and so on. A lovely social occasion.

So, my profound thanks to all those, friends and family, who sent me messages today – on Facebook, email, SMS, by phone. Most heart-warming, thank you.

I checked out some basic information about Philip the Apostle. It’s a Greek name – Φίλιππος, Philippos – meaning ‘lover of horses’ – well, OK, fine by me.

Philip was the fifth disciple recruited by Jesus, according to the Bible. Unlike some of the other disciples, he was not a fisherman, but a bit of a scholar who was on the search for an unidentified “Messiah”.

Following the Crucifixion, he preached across Asia Minor – Galilee, Greece, Syria, into Ethiopia. On his travels, he was reputed to have performed miracles, including bringing people back from the dead.

He met his end as a martyr, in Hierapolis, a Greco-Roman city near present-day Parmukkale, in Turkey’s Anatolia. He was, according to different sources, either beheaded or crucified upside-down.

Interesting that the Cross of St. Philip, or Petrine Cross, an official Christian symbol, is therefore an inverted Latin cross.

Anyway, a lovely day – and thanks, once again, to everyone who communicated. I look forward, ironically, to my other Bulgarian name day. I say “ironically”, because my Bulgarian wife has such an unusual (though traditional) name, that she doesn’t even get her own Name Day, at all!

PS: I hope there’s a huge party going on tonight in the city of Plovdiv, former name Philippopolis, named after Philip II of Macedon – father of Alexander the Great. (NO, my name doesn’t make me a Macedonian!)

Image: Holy-Icons

Bulgarian Orthodox Church in mourning for Maxim

Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim

Bulgarian Patriarch and Metropolitan of Sofia
29.10.1914 – 06.11.2012

Image: cosmos-discoverer

Super Sofia scenes

Mark R. Milan blog on Sofia sights

Intimate photos of Sofia.

If you want to see some superb photos of contemporary Sofia, then take a look at this new site.

Mark Milan is a London-born, professional celebrities photographer. Luckily for us, he’s now in Sofia, tramping the city streets and taking some lovely photographs.[1]

Yes, there are the familiar set pieces, but beautifully shot. More to the point, there are the small details that Milan observes while walking (sometimes tripping?) around the capital, from the tight shots of the food he’s enjoyed, to the chess players in Sofia’s City Park, and the newly spray-decorated electrical boxes of CEZ ( a civic project).

Plus, Milan’s amusing, penetrating observations that accompany some of his photos, and some warm anecdotes about buying old cameras in the city’s antique shops, ring very true.

Mark Milan is in residence here for a few months, taking a ‘career break’. I look forward to seeing more of his work and to continue reading his blog while he’s in Sofia.

I urge you to take the time to check out his (distinctive, retro Mac-appearance) blog. It’s a Pandora’s Box of pleasant surprises, insights and reactions.

I’m so pleased to have discovered this site, following up on Milan’s ‘Like’ of one of my own recent items. Chance, eh!

[1]: Mark R. Milan

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