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 It is celebrated on a different date each year. It is determined by the phases of the moon, choosing the day of the first full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. The Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar, and the Catholic and Protestant churches use the Gregorian calendar. This is the main reason for the different dates on which Catholics and Protestants on the one hand and Orthodox on the other celebrate Easter. The Orthodox Church also observes the additional rule that Easter does not coincide with the Jewish feast of Passover. In 2024, Orthodox Easter is on May 5.


The week before Easter is called Holy Week or the Week of Passion. It is the last week of Jesus Christ's life - beginning with his solemn entry into Jerusalem and ending with his Resurrection. Its days are called - Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday (or Good Friday), Holy Saturday (or Holy Saturday), and Easter (Sunday).

Holy Week is also the last week of Lent (the strictest and longest period of the year). It is part of the preparation for Easter and helps to purify the body mentally and physically. It lasts for 7 weeks during which meat and dairy products, alcohol, and cigarettes must not be consumed. For 2024, the dates are March 18 to May 5.


Easter is celebrated for 3 days. Preparations for the feast take place throughout Holy Week, with Thursday to Sunday being particularly important. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the home is cleaned and decorated. On Holy Wednesday, women are not to work. On Maundy Thursday, during the day, usually in the morning, eggs are dyed, and Kozunaks and/or ritual breads (Easter cravai) are kneaded. Traditionally, the first dyed egg is always red - a symbol of the blood of Christ. It is used to paint a cross on the foreheads of children and other family members for health. It is then separated and placed next to an icon or in a special place in the home until the following Easter, when it is replaced by the first newly painted egg. According to tradition, after the miraculous resurrection of Christ, Mary Magdalene went to the Roman Emperor Tiberius to tell him the news. As a gift to him, she carried an egg. When Mary Magdalene addressed the emperor with the words "Christ is Risen", he did not believe it and said that if it were true, the egg in her hands would turn red. And at that moment it did turn red. Since then, Christians have adopted the custom of dyeing and giving red eggs at Easter. The color red symbolizes the blood of Christ, and the egg itself represents life. Gradually, other colors began to be used. They also have their meaning - yellow and orange are associated with wealth, green with success, and blue is the color of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, and symbolizes hope and love. In the past, natural dyes (decoctions of herbs and plants, nuts) were used as paints - for red - broch roots or oregano flowers, for yellow - onion skins, walnut leaves, or apple peels, for orange - sumac, for green - nettle, spinach, for blue - violet flowers, etc. Nowadays eggs are mainly dyed with special dyes, and there are different techniques and ways to make them even more beautiful and colorful. Egg dyeing dates back to ancient times - they are associated with various rituals in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Persia, Ancient Rome, and China. Jews had a custom of bringing a gift to the host when visiting, and poorer people usually gave eggs as gifts. Subsequently, colored eggs became an integral part of the celebration of Easter. At the beginning of the 19th century, the production of chocolate eggs began - a favorite treat for children. Beautifully painted wooden, glass, ceramic, and plastic eggs can also be found. Peter Carl Fabergé's decorative eggs, crafted with precious stones and precious metals, are particularly exquisite.


On Good Friday or Good Friday, Jesus Christ is crucified, atoning for the sins of all people. The hour of his death is considered to be 3 pm. On this day, the faithful go to church to worship before Christ's shroud (a cloth depicting the swaddling cloth with which his dead body was covered and laid in the tomb) by passing under the table. On Good Friday, the strictest fast is observed - no eating, drinking, or working.

On Holy Saturday (Holy Saturday), you can also knead and bake Kozunaks and dye eggs. On the Saturday evening before Easter, people go to church for a solemn mass, after which all present light their candles and leave the church. The lights in it go out. Just at midnight, the bells begin to ring, and the priest announces the Resurrection of the Son of God with the words "Christ is risen" and is answered with "In truth, He is risen." A festive tropar is sung, the Gospel is read, and 3 times around the church with a lit candle in hand for health. The priest then opens the doors of the temple, like Christ opening the doors of heaven, and with singing one goes inside for Holy Mass. People head to their homes with lit candles.

Holy Week ends with Easter. Traditionally, people dress in new clothes, go to church for a solemn Easter Mass, and then the whole family gathers for a rich festive meal. On the table, there must be colorful (painted) boiled eggs, fragrant Kozunaks and cookies, roast lamb, and fresh salad with fresh seasonal vegetables, wine. In the past, they also used to prepare ritual bread (Easter cow bread). You can read more for the traditional bulgarian table on Easter- here


In the past, during the 3 days of celebration, Easter people would play on the town square, young people would tie swings and swing on them for health, singing songs special for the occasion. In some places in the country these traditions are still observed today.

The atmosphere of the holiday is complemented by the Easter decorations of the home and table - bunnies, chicks, egg baskets, beautifully decorated wooden, ceramic, or glass eggs. Bunnies are also one of the symbols of the Easter holidays - chocolate, sugar, glass, ceramic, plush. The rabbit is associated with fertility, and in ancient times with the moon and its cycles. According to legend, the Easter bunny used to be a beautiful bird belonging to a goddess. After she turned it into a wild hare, it continued to make nests and lay eggs, as it was still a bird at heart.

The first Bulgarian Easter card is from 1899.


Everyone with the names Velichka, Velichko, Veliko, Velika, Velizar, Velizara, Velko, Veislav, Velislava, Velin, Velina, Vili celebrates their name day.

There are several churches near our apartments that you can visit if you are in Sofia during Easter: St. Nedelya Cathedral - on St. Sunday Square (in front of the Balkan Hotel - former Sheraton) - 3-4 minutes walk. Church of St. Seventy - on St. Graf Ignatiev 25 (near Slaveykov Square) - ten minutes walk. St. Alexander Nevsky Monument (Patriarchal Cathedral) - St. Alexander Nevsky Square, 15-20 minutes walk or 1 metro stop (Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" metro station). St. Sophia Church - on ul. The oldest church in the capital. Church of St. George - on the Blvd. Patriarch Evtimiy 90 - a few minutes walk.


If you're planning to travel to Sofia during Easter, immerse yourself in the city's rich traditions and vibrant celebrations. From attending solemn church services to enjoying festive meals with family and friends, Easter in Sofia offers a unique cultural experience. And for a comfortable stay during your visit, consider our family-friendly Sofia apartments or luxurious two-bedroom apartments near Vitosha mountain.