Regional Library Petko R. Slaveykov

Veliko Tarnovo


145 years ago 9/22 March 1879 was celebrated for the first time as the Day of Veliko Tarnovo and the holiday of the Tarnovo Garrison. The holiday was restored on March 22, 1984.

The citizens of Old Town were the first in Bulgaria to adopt a day of the year as their holiday, a day on which everyone lives with the greatness and glory of their hometown in mind. In the literary magazine Pravda of 1879, written by Nediu Zhekov, the first information about the celebration of March 22 as the holiday of Veliko Tarnovo can be found. The article "A spiritual celebration" describes the great celebration of the citizens of Veliko Tarnovo in the church of St. Forty Martyrs", held on 9 March (old style). The Divine Liturgy was attended by the Imperial Commissar Prince Dondukov-Korsakov, the army, senior officials and clergy, deputies from the Constituent Assembly held in the city at that time and many citizens. For the first time after five centuries of slavery, not only the people of Turnov, but also the entire national representation, paid tribute to our past. From then until 1944, the Day of the Holy Forty Martyrs was celebrated annually as the Day of Tarnovo and the holiday of the Tarnovo garrison.veliko tarnovo cards

Over the years, each celebration usually began at 9 a.m. with a solemn parade of the units of the Tarnovo Garrison, led by military brass music. The parade was eagerly attended by the schoolchildren and traditionally the portraits of the Tarnovo benefactors were carried in the front columns. These are the donors of Turnovo who gave funds for the construction of schools, libraries, community centers, hospitals, churches, who contributed to the spiritual development of the old capital. The mayor of the city congratulated the warriors of the Tarnovo garrison and the entire citizenry on the holiday. The assembled crowd headed to the monument of the participants in the Velcho Zavara. Famous Tarnovo cultural figures told stories about the great deed of the benefactors. Poems were recited and songs dedicated to the great city of Tarnovo were sung.

In the Municipal newspaper "Veliko Tarnovo" of March 20, 1934 we read. From all over Bulgaria should flock here, to revive the past in their souls and in front of the columns of Omurtagh and John Asen, and at the tombs of the Bulgarian kings to feel that the old lives its spiritual life, that Bulgaria has its thousand-year history. Let us make this holiday a day of the Bulgarian spirit."

After 1944, the holiday was not celebrated as Veliko Tarnovo Day. For its restoration have to be credited the wakeful inhabitants of the district "Asenov", who in 1970 celebrated it in the church "St. Forty Martyrs. In 1984, their idea was supported by the Veliko Tarnovo community, which to this day inherits the tradition of this day being dedicated solely to the unique Veliko Tarnovo.

Sources used:

Mitova-Ganeva, Katya. Veliko Tarnovo - unknown, curious and beloved / Katya Mitova-Ganeva. - Veliko Tarnovo : Faber, 2008. - 200 с

Mitova-Ganeva, Katya. Memory of Tarnovo : pages from the post-liberation history of the city / Katya Mitova-Ganova. - Veliko Tarnovo : Faber, 2009. - 528 с

Municipal newspaper Veliko Tarnovo, № 24, 20 March 1934.

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