Across Bulgaria, sirens will sound at noon on June 2 2016 in an annual custom honouring the memory of revolutionary, poet and rebel Hristo Botev, who died in 1876 in the struggle against Ottoman rule.
The custom is that everyone should stand still while the sirens sound, and maintain a minute of silence, in respect for the memory of Botev and all those who died for the freedom of Bulgaria.
Botev died at the hands of an Ottoman sharpshooter as the failed uprising of the time was coming to a close.
Born in Kalofer in 1848 and brought up in the midst of the Bulgarian national revival, Botev was educated in Kalofer and later in Odessa, in today’s Ukraine.
Botev has endured in Bulgarian history as a influential literary figure, having bequeathed to the memory of his country one of the most patriotic and sentimentally-romantic poems reflecting on the life of poor and oppressed people, revolutionary struggle and unrequited love obstructed by patriotic duty.
Among some of best-loved works of poetry are To My Mother, Elegy, Struggle, and In the Tavern.
(Photo of the Hristo Botev monument in Vratsa: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)