Sirens will sound across Bulgaria for two minutes at noon on June 2 2023 in an annual custom honouring the memory of revolutionary, poet and rebel Hristo Botev, who died in 1876 in the struggle against Ottoman rule, as well as in tribute to all who died for the freedom of Bulgaria.
When the sirens sound, all pedestrians and vehicles in the settlements, with the exception of trains, should stop for two minutes, in reverence for the memory of Botev and all who gave their lives in the name of Bulgaria’s liberation.
Botev died at the hands of an Ottoman sharpshooter on June 1 1876 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 Odesa, 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 the Bulgarian poet’s best-loved works are To My Mother, Elegy, Struggle, and In the Tavern.
(Photo of the Hristo Botev monument in Vratsa: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)
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