Over 150 premium Bulgarian wines and fine alcoholic beverages will be presented at an exhibition that is first of its kind to ever happen in Veliko Tarnovo. There will be also be degustation of high-quality alcoholic drinks at the fair and the spirits will be available to be purchased straight from their producers at preferential prices.
The wine expo will be held under the slogan ‘New wines come with the spring’ and will be open for visitors on March, 21st and 22nd in Rafael Mihaylov Exhibition Halls. It is organized by a local company that deals with wine and alcoholic beverages distribution. Visitors are welcomed from 10 am till 19 pm; the entrance is free.
Twenty Bulgarian producers of wines and alcoholic beverages will be present at the exposition. They will put on display young wines as well as vintage ones. Visitor will have the chance to see unique liquors such as the Special Troyan Plum Rakiya from 1989; a bottle of the 43% alcohol beverage is sold at a factory price of 155 lv. There will be also many other high-quality spirits like rums, liqueurs, vermouths and also lager from the local brewery. Exhibition guests will have the opportunity to consult different wine specialists, enologists and sommeliers.
According to experts, Bulgarians’ wine-drinking culture is improving; in their words lately there is an increased consummation of white and rosé wines. Wine quality is getting better and Bulgaria is now placed side by side with its wine competitors Italy and Spain.
Breath-taking Veliko Tarnovo.
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For the first time the ‘Best Town to Live in Bulgaria’ prize is awarded to two towns; the competition is organized by one of the leading radio stations in Bulgaria in cooperation with a top-rank newspaper. ‘The Best Town to Live in Bulgaria’ campaign was first organized in 2007.
Veliko Tarnovo and Burgas won the top spot with 40 points. All participating towns were appraised by 20 criteria. Veliko Tarnovo was crowned for the first time and Burgas for the third. The two winners received their awards by the Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski at a ceremony held at the National Art Gallery in Sofia.
Both towns were scrutinized according to the following criteria: ecological conditions, in town sports options, availability of bicycle lanes, number of kindergartens, main streets condition, number of parking spaces, time spent in traffic jams, free Wi-Fi in public areas, hospitals equipment and conditions, proximity to airports, number of universities and high schools with foreign languages learning, criminal activity statistics, per capita birth rates, etc.
Twenty-seven Bulgarian municipalities took part in the campaign.
A grand piano, worth 170,000 euro, will be delivered from Bucharest for the concert of the renowned piano player and composer Richard Clayderman. The show starts at 7.00 pm on March, 21st. It will be held at Veliko Tarnovo’s Sports and Culture Hall ‘Vasil Levski’. The construction of the stage will start from the previous day so that the precious musical instrument can be placed on a suitable platform.
Clayderman has personally chosen the grand piano for the concert. He says that he needs to feel the instrument he is going to play. It is insured due to its high value and will be transported in a specially equipped truck; the vehicle freight section will be insulated in order to maintain a room temperature, needed for the preservation of the grand piano, throughout the journey. Also a specialist, who is aware of the piano player style, is hired to tune the instrument after its arrival.
Richard Clayderman, his percussionist and a band of 9 people are arriving on March, 21st. The piano player has a distinctive style that renders his concerts unforgettable experience. This event is unprecedented in Veliko Tarnovo’s cultural life and will surely leave a trace in the hearts of those who will attend the concert. Tickets are in the 20 to 60 lv price range.
On 8th March ladies will receive greeting cards and gentlemen will be cheered up with wine and kebapcheta
The Mayor of Arbanasi said that the village is ready to welcome its guests with 300 kepapcheta*, 30 litres of wine and 300 greeting cards for International Women’s Day. Veliko Tarnovo’s brass band will keep up the good mood throughout the day. This year the so-called Horse Easter coincides with the annual celebration of women’s day. Arbanasi’s Mayor joked that this is his lucky year because he will not have to spend money twice and the double celebration will be covered in one bill.
On Saturday the residents of Arbanasi will mark Todorov Den* for the 24th time. Many events will be organized throughout the day. The day will start with a horse procession along the streets of the village. At 11.30 am jockeys will be greeted by His Eminence the Metropolitan Bishop Grigoriy of Veliko Tarnovo. The Minister of Youth and Sports Prof. Mariana Georgieva is also invited. It is now a tradition that the Sports Minister visits the horse feast in Arbanasi each year because the Equestrian Club in the village is one of the leading in the country.
There will also be a contest for the most beautifully adorned horse as well as horse racings. Winners in different competitions will receive prizes.
*Kebapche is a traditional Bulgarian dish with oblong form that is grilled; it is made of minced meat and spices.
*Todorov Den – people with names like Todor and Theodor have their names celebrated on that day; also according to old traditions many horse races are being organized throughout the country.
A blossomed tree adorned with a martenitsa
On 1st March Bulgarians celebrate a centuries-old tradition and exchange martenitsi (small pieces of adornment made of white and red yarn) on what is called the day of Baba Marta. The tradition of giving friends red and white interwoven strings is said to bring health and happiness during the year and is a reminder that spring is near. Baba Marta (which literally means “Granny March”) is the name of a mythical figure that brings with her the end of the cold winter and the beginning of the spring. She is a feisty old lady whose mood swing very quickly. When she’s happy the weather during March is fine and when she’s cross it’s snowing. The common belief is that by wearing the red and white colours of the martenitsa people ask Baba Marta for mercy. People usually wear martenitsi until the end of March when the first signs of the coming Spring appear, namely blossoming trees or when one notices a stork. At that point men, women and children usually tie their martenitsi to a tree following the ancient tradition; thus they call for a fruitful year.
Baba Marta on 1st March last year
Baba Marta herself will arrive in Veliko Tarnovo on 1st March and together with her granddaughter Martenka will bring joy to the citizens and guests of Veliko Tarnovo. Both of them will make a tour around the town in a motley carriage adorned with many martenitsi. Their first stop will be at 10.30 am in front of the ‘Konstantin Kisimov’ Musical Drama Theatre. Then at 11.05 am the carriage will go to the square in front of Tsarevets Fortress. At 11.40 the jolly granny and her granddaughter will meet children at ‘Iskra’ Community Centre. All day long the cheery couple will give away free martenitsi.