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National Revival Leaders Day written over a communist image in grey
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Revival Day

Revival Day on 1st November was first celebrated 1909. It originated in Plovdiv, the people wanted to pay respect towards the people that defined Bulgarian spirit. Revival Day is sometimes called the National Enlighteners Day. On this day we remember the Bulgarian visionaries and scholars that helped change the nation’s history. 

The day is for writers, philosophers and fighters for national liberation who preserved the spiritual values of the nation over the centuries. You might recognise some of the names, as many streets and famous buildings in Bulgaria have their names by way of an honour.

In 1945, the Communists banned the celebration. The post-communist politicians revived the celebration in 1992, after the fall of Communism in 1989. Since then, the government recognises November 1 a National Enlighteners’ Day and a non-working day for all schools in the country.

Who are the National Enlighteners?

Here are some of the most famous. You might have noticed, our street is named after Vasil Levski.

Vasil Levski

Was a Bulgarian revolutionary and is a national hero of Bulgaria today. Dubbed the Apostle of Freedom, Levski ideologized and strategized a revolutionary movement to liberate Bulgaria from Ottoman rule. Levski founded the Internal Revolutionary Organisation and sought to stimulate a nationwide uprising through a network of secret regional committees.

Levski looked beyond the act of liberation: he envisioned a “pure and sacred” Bulgarian republic of ethnic and religious equality. His concepts have been described as a struggle for human rights, inspired by the progressive liberalism of the French Revolution and 19th century Western European society.

Vasil Levski writer and enlightener helping the Bulgarians develop independence from Turkish rule

Police arrested him on the morning of 27 December 1872.

Interrogators took him to Veliko Tarnovo for interrogation. However he went to Sofia on 4 January. There he was trialled. While he acknowledged his crimes, he did not reveal his accomplices or details related to his organization, taking full blame. Ottoman authorities sentenced Levski to death by hanging.


Hristo Botev

Hristo botev old black and white photograph

A Bulgarian poet and national revolutionary, Botev is a symbolic historical figure and national hero.

After the death of Vasil Levski, he becomes the leader of the Bulgarian Central Revolutionary Committee

He start the uprising in Vratsa, but things didn’t go well, not much support from the people that were afraid of the ottoman empire , then at dusk on 20 May 1876 (in the Julian calendar, equivalent to 2 June 1876 in today’s Gregorian calendar), that a single bullet, most probably fired by a concealed Ottoman sharpshooter, hit Botev in the chest, killing him instantly. After the death of their leader and chief inspiration, the company suffered a serious drop in morale and began to disperse. 

Hadji Dimitar

He was one of the most prominent Bulgarian revolutionaries working for the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule.

His death inspired Hristo Botev’s poem “Hadzhi Dimitar” in 1873:

He who falls while fighting to be free
can never die: for him the sky
and earth, the trees and beasts shall keen,
to him the minstrel’s song shall rise…

Hristo Botev 1873

an important figure of the Bulgarian National Revival and resistance against Ottoman rule.

See our Culture Blog section for more interesting celebration days in Bulgaria including Nikulden on 6th December.

Book Now to reserve your camping place. Maybe you can tie in with another of our cultural days and celebrations.

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