24 May: Day of Bulgarian Enlightenment, Culture and Slavic Alphabet

Musical greeting from the Bulgarian National Radio Children's Choir

Photo: BNR The Bulgarian National Radio Children's Choir, led by conductor Venetsia Karamanova, is presenting the anthem “March ahead, o revived people”, in a time of coronavirus confinement.

On 24 May, all Bulgarians celebrate the Day of Bulgarian Enlightenment, Culture and Slavic Alphabet. They mark the first Glagolitic script, created in the 9th century by the brothers Cyril and Methodius of Thessaloniki, later canonised as saints for their great historic contribution.

About few decades after, this writing was simplified in Cyrillic letters, the script Bulgaria uses since 893. Cyrillic is the third official script of the EU since 2007.

In the country, 24 May has its anthem “March ahead, o revived people”. Making school song in 1892, Stoyan Mihailovsky, then French language teacher wrote the lyrics, originally named “Hymn of St. Cyril and St. Methodius”. In 1900, composer Panayot Pipkov, that time a music teacher, wrote the melody.

The anthem’s first stanza reads:

 March ahead, o revived people,

To your future march ahead,

Forge your destiny of glory,

By the might of letters led. (translated by Evgenia Pancheva, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", English and American Studies, Faculty Member)

On the occasion of the feast this year, the Bulgarian National Radio and the Bulgarian National Television in the time of confinement measures and social distancing due to the Covid-19 outbreak, are sending a joint salutation with a new, original TV version of the anthem.

The young singers from the Bulgarian National Radio Children's Choir, led by conductor Venetsia Karamanova, are presenting the emblematical song from their homes, and their parents are the camera operators. The video is available on the websites of the two national media and on social media.

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