How many Eastern Orthodox denominations are there?


Bulgarian customs and culture partly have pre-Christian roots. During the Kukerima masquerades, the locals dress up in animal costumes and masks to drive away evil spirits. Every March 1st, Bulgarians exchange “Martenitzi”, which are small, red and white braided ribbons. Bulgarians wear their “Martenitzi” until they see the first stork coming back after winter. Although these customs lost their religious significance many years ago, they are an important and charming part of cultural heritage.

Magnificent architectural ensembles, ancient icons, magnificent wood carvings, and colorful murals are part of the religious, historical and cultural richness of the country. The monasteries - basically training and arts centers - played an important role in preserving the national spirit and culture. During the long Ottoman rule, the Orthodox Church supported national and cultural resistance and preserved the memory of Bulgaria's past. Even today there are still more than 150 monasteries. Many of them offer overnight accommodation. The world-famous Rila Monastery is the most visited sanctuary in the country and also the second largest monastery in Southeast Europe that you can and can visit.

There are a number of religions in Bulgaria that respectfully coexist. The Eastern Orthodox religion is the most important in Bulgaria, but there are also numerous religious minorities.

Christianity first emerged in the 4th century, during Byzantine rule. In the 9th century it became apparent that a Bulgarian religion of its own would strengthen the empire as it could unite the various ethnic groups. Chan Boris I planned to accept the baptism of Rome (Western Roman Empire) until Byzantium (Eastern Roman Empire) started a war against Bulgaria. In 864 Boris I was forced to adopt Orthodox Christianity from Constantinople.

in the Balkans is influenced by the local Christian culture and shows an interesting mix of Islamic, Christian and Bulgarian traditions. Many Bulgarians converted to Islam during the "Ottoman yoke". The mosques in Bulgaria are the Bania-Bashi Mosque in Sofia (1576), the Tombul Mosque in Shumen, the Imaret Mosque in Plovdiv and the Bairakli Mosque in Samokov. The traditional Bulgarian-Muslim costume is colorful and can be admired in many parts of the Rhodope region and in northeastern Bulgaria.

was mostly brought into the country by businessmen and Saxon miners. Some of the numerous Catholic churches in Bulgaria today are “St. Josef ”and“ St. Francis ”in Sofia,“ St. Ludovik ”in Plovdiv, and the monastery in Tzarev Brod.

Many of the Jews who moved to Bulgaria and the rest of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century were Spanish Sepharads and Ashenazi Jews who fled the Inquisition. There is still a small but active Jewish community in Bulgaria. The impressive, domed Sofia Synagogue is the largest Sepharad synagogue in Europe.

Around 1918 the Bulgarian theologian Peter Dunov introduced a religious-mystical belief structure that focuses on rebirth and the spirituality of objects. Danovism combines Christian Orthodox beliefs with meditation, sun worship, a vegetarian way of life and yoga.

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