Bulgaria has a long weekend from September 6 as the country marks Unification Day, with Plovdiv the main focus of celebrations.
Unification Day commemorates the 1885 re-unification of Bulgaria that brought to an end the Eastern Roumelian territory, that was made up of large parts of southern Bulgaria and that had Plovdiv as its capital city, that had been created by the 1878 Treaty of Berlin.
Celebrations in the village of Suedinenie (“Unification”) were set to begin on September 5, with a special sitting of the municipal council in the morning, a memorial service at 7.30pm at the St Athanasius church, led by Plovdiv Metropolitan Nikolai and dedicated to participants in the Unification and an 8.30pm re-enactment of key moments from the events of 128 years ago. A fireworks display is to follow.
At 9.30am on September 6, a traditional marathon will be run the 22km from Suedinenie to Plovdiv.
The major celebration of Unification Day will be held on the evening of September 6 at the memorial in Plovdiv.
Celebrations are also planned in other cities and towns on September 6, including Kazanluk, which will hold a church service, and in Rousse, where at 11am tribute will be paid to the fallen in the Serbo-Bulgarian war, with the commemoration to be attended by Irish ambassador John Rowan, local media said.
The end of the weekend is expected to see heavy traffic along highways from the seaside to Sofia and other major cities as late-season holidaymakers and others who have taken advantage of the long weekend return home.
(Photo, of the Unification memorial in Plovdiv: Vladislav Nedelev)