On May 24, the Day of the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius, of the Bulgarian alphabet, education and culture and of Slavic literature was celebrated.
Cyril and Methodius had been saints since the 9th century, and the commemoration of their saint’s day had been celebrated in Bulgaria since the 12th century.
Traditionally, the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tbilisi celebrated this holiday with the Bulgarian community and the friends of Bulgaria in Georgia. The Georgian country was represented by the Minister of Culture, Mrs. Thea Tsulukiani. The event was also attended by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and media representatives.
H.E. Mrs. Dessislava Ivanova, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to Georgia, addressed the attendees of the event.
“Each year on 24th of May the Republic of Bulgaria and Bulgarians around the world celebrate the Day of the Holy Brothers St. Cyril and St. Methodius, the Bulgarian Alphabet, Education and Culture and the Slavic Literature. That’s the official name of the Day. For all us Bulgarians, but this is shortly the Day of Our Letters.
“This day has been celebrated in Bulgaria for nearly 160 years now making it the longest celebrated holiday in the country’s late history, cherished almost as a Second National Day.
“24th of May is a Day that has no analog in the rich pantheon of the Bulgarian festive calendar. For us Bulgarians, it is the Day of our letters. The day on which all first grade students declare and celebrate the fact of their literacy. This is the professional day of all teachers, professors at Universities, of all people engaged in culture and education, of all of us that have ever been part of the school system! This means – literally everybody.
“This is the day of the Bulgarian literature, enlightenment and culture. It is an occasion to celebrate the unbreakable Bulgarian strive towards spiritual rising, cultural achievements and knowledge.
“With the accession of the Republic of Bulgaria to the European Union on 1 January 2007, Cyrillic alphabet – the alphabet that we celebrate today, became the third official script of the European Union, following Latin and Greek.
“This is the script, created at the end of the IX century in the Bulgarian Medieval State, through which nowadays around 250 million people in the world express themselves. And we could only be proud and happy – as the Patriarch of the Bulgarian Literature Ivan Vazov said – that we were in a position to share this cultural treasure with the rest of the world.
“In mid-IX century the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius created in then Moravia the first Slavic alphabet – the so-called Glagolitic alphabet, whose letters were based on the three holy elements of Christianity – cross, triangle, and circle, and started translating in it the main Christian Orthodox scripts in order to spread the influence of Christianity. The letters, created by St. Cyril and St. Methodius, their translations of the liturgical books, their fight to protect the rights of all nations to do honor of God in their own languages have a historical significance for mankind.
“Subsequently, towards the end of IX century – after the death of Cyril and Methodius, acting under the auspice of the Bulgarian King and in the territory of the then Medieval Bulgarian State, the Glagolitic alphabet, created by the Holy Brothers, was modified by their renowned disciples – later known as St. Kliment of Ohrid and St. Naum of Preslav. This second Slavonic alphabet, that is still in use – was called Cyrillic in honor of the great teacher.
“Coming into existence in the First Bulgarian Kingdom, the new script became during the centuries the basis of alphabets used in various languages, especially those of Orthodox Slavic origin, but not only.
“All Bulgarians consider the life and work of the Holy Brothers and their disciples humanistic, democratic and part of the general human idea for equality in the spiritual field.
“24th of May has a profound significance for the Bulgarian national development and the prosperity of the Bulgarian nation, as well as to the re-awakening of the Bulgarian self-awareness during our Renaissance and National Revival in XVIII-XIX century.
“Happy 24th of May to all of us!,” the Ambassador said.