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.
After a halt of 30 years the Town’Clock next to the Post Office is working again
All the necessary actions for restoring the Town Clock mounted on the building next to the Post Office were undertaken by initiative of Veliko Tarnovo’s Mayor Daniel Panov. On 3rd March, Bulgaria’s National Day, one of the town’s contemporary symbols was given new life after nearly 30 years of abandonment.
The clock which used to chime with the melody of the Shishman song is now fully renovated and working. Its mechanism was removed, fixed and put back in place again; its wiring and power supply have also been renewed. A back-up power supply is provided in case of electricity blackouts.
Currently the technical option to make the clock sound with Veliko Tarnovo’s anthem Shishman song is being tried out.
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.
The pastime board game is a gift from a manufacturer hoping it will increase Veliko Tarnovo’s chance of winning the ‘European capital of culture 2019’ contest
Veliko Tarnovo will receive an 8 by 8 meters long on-ground chessboard, worth approximately 2500 euros. The person who donates the chess is smitten with the town and in his opinion the chess will contribute towards Veliko Tarnovo’s efforts to win the contest.
The benefactor said that he is the only manufacturer of such on-ground chessboards in Bulgaria. The chess conforms to all world set guidelines and is in 1:10 scale compared to the standard table chess. The generous man will grant it for free because in his words Veliko Tarnovo deserves to have such an amusement.
The measurements of the base are 8 by 8 meters and the pieces are of three different sizes according to their significance – pawns are 40 cm high, rooks, nights and bishops are 60 cm and the king and queen tower at 80 cm.
According to the manufacturer the on-ground chessboard should ideally be placed within an amphitheatrical setting so that onlookers can have a good view of the moves and how the game of chess progresses. The only thing left to do for the local authorities is to find a spot for the game and help in building the tiered seats around it.
Gurko street in Veliko Tarnovo
Veliko Tarnovo’s Regional Historic Museum is organizing free sightseeing tours of the cultural and historical sites and places in the town on the 3rd March. The reason behind this gift is Bulgaria’s National Holiday, remembered in history as Bulgaria’s Liberation Day, which is celebrated on that date. The guided tours are open for both citizens and guests of the town. Museum guides will conduct 2 two-hour walks along two different routes. Both of them will start from the ‘Tsar Ivan Asen’ square in front of the Tsarevets Fortress and will finish at ‘Mother Bulgaria’ monument.
The first walk-around or the so called ‘South tour’ will set off at 10.30 am. During this first walk tourists will learn more about the times when Veliko Tarnovo was the capital city of Bulgaria. Some of their stops will include The Turkish Archive, The Gaol Museum (once an operating prison) and The Konak (once a building fulfilling administrative function). They will also visit the Museum of the Bulgarian Revival and Constituent Assembly where the participants in the tour will see an exposition and get acquainted with the details of the struggle for national liberation and the Russian-Turkish liberation war. Sightseers will also go along ‘Gurko’ street; they will see the museum ‘Sarafkinata kushta’, further pass by Veliko Tarnovo Inter-hotel; then along the Stambolov Bridge will get to the Art Gallery. At the most picturesque spot in Veliko Tarnovo, revealing panoramic views of the Old part of the town, tourists will be told more facts about The Asenevtsi monument, the Stambolov Bridge and the Boruna area. At the end of their walk they will see the exhibition ‘200 years Zahari Zograf’ in the Art Gallery.
‘The North Tour’ will start at 3 p.m. The group will go along ‘Ivan Vazov’ street, pass by ‘Nadezhda’ community centre and then they also will visit The Turkish Archive, Museum The Gaol Museum and The Konak and the Museum of the Bulgarian Revival and Constituent Assembly. Futher the sightseers will see the monument of Nikola Pikolo and will hear a short lecture at ‘Velchova zavera’ square. The group will stop at the Samovodskata Charshia, a street renowned with its craftsmen. The closing point will be at the Monument of the hanged. A talk of 40 minutes will be held there.