135 years ago today, Bulgaria was liberated from 500 years of Ottoman rule.
As you can imagine, March 3rd is a very meaningful day in the country and most people celebrate in some way. Later this evening in Smolyan there will be a public gathering and fireworks display. Even with continued national protests and government strife, Bulgarians are proud of their country and heritage.
It is common to see statues and memorials of liberation heroes decorated with flower wreaths and handwritten notes of thanks. Yesterday, on our way to Rudozem, we passed the Polkovnik Serafimov monument–high in the mountains above Smolyan– and it was covered in beautiful flower arrangements.
Being married to a Bulgarian has made me feel much more invested in this country and its history. Our children will be half-Bulgarian and I want them to be proud of their heritage–on both sides.
To all of my Bulgarian friends and family, Happy Liberation Day!