Taking a Day Off to Honor Your Alphabet

05/31/2016 02:42 pm ET Updated Jun 01, 2017

Hooray for ￐レ￐ᄌ￑タ￐ᄌ￐ᄏ￐ᄏ￐ᄌ￑ニ￐ᄚ (Cyrillic)! There's nothing like a parade to celebrate the use of your particular brand of alphabet. In Bulgaria, a day comes in late May when there's no school. All the generations gather for dances, laying bouquets on memorials, and a grand parade to celebrate their Cyrillic alphabet (which is also a celebration of their language and their culture). We're in the city of Kazanlak, and today it's all about those medieval missionary monks (Methodius and Cyril) who promoted Christianity to the Bulgarians and gave that corner of the world its alphabet -- named not for Methodius ... but for Cyril. Enjoy the scene as this humble town in the poorest country in the EU is filled with the simple joy of being Bulgarian. It's fun, as an American, to be reminded that people across our globe treasure their heritage every bit as much as we do.


This is Day 49 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I'm reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at blog.ricksteves.com.