Bulgaria Celebrates Both Valentine's and Wine Day Today
Two major celebrations are taking place on February 14 in Bulgaria, with Valentine's day coinciding with the national feast of wine and vine.
Since the fall of Communism in the late eighties, the internationally practiced exchange of love messages in Catholic countries but also elsewhere, has co-existed with the celebration of vine growers and wine makers, with some people arguing they normally mark "both".
Many Bulgarians insist February 14 should be reserved for a traditional Bulgarian celebration - the feast of St Trifon Zarezan, the patron of vine growing and wine producing.
The St Trifon Zarezan day offers a nice alternative to those who don't have a loved one to share the holiday with, but can still find a reason to celebrate.
The professional holiday of vine-growers and wine-makers has been officially celebrated since 1962. When the Gregorian Calendar was officially introduced by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in 1968, the church services moved to February 1, but the Day of Vine and Wine is still commemorated on February 14.
According to old traditions, the culmination is the moment of choosing the "king of vines" - usually a diligent vine-grower, who is thus said to sweep all good luck.