September 22 – Independence Day in Bulgaria

Posted on September 22, 2015

You know how sometimes colonies – like the 13 American colonies – will declare independence, but then have to fight a war to make other countries (especially the colonizing power) accept their independence?

Well, for Bulgaria, the opposite happened:

Bulgaria was pretty much independent of the Ottoman Empire since 1878. There was a little bit of lip service given by the Bulgarian government to the Ottoman mucky-mucks, but really, the Bulgarians were ruling themselves.

This is called de facto independence. De facto is Latin for “in fact, in reality.”

But legally, on paper, Bulgaria still seemed to be part of the Ottoman Empire. The Latin phrase for “in law” is de jure.

In 1908, Bulgaria wanted to take over all the regions inhabited by Bulgarians but ruled by someone else, and unify all under the name of “Bulgaria.” And to do that, Bulgaria had to be de jure independent as well as de facto independent.

So on this date in 1908, Bulgaria proclaimed its independence!

And when I say “on this date”...

Actually, if you or I would have been alive way back in 1908, our calendars would not have read “September 22” on the day that Bulgaria announced its independence! Instead, our calendar would have said “October 5.”

Way back I the mid-1700s, the American colonies and Great Britain joined the growing number of countries using the Gregorian calendar, rather than the Julian calendar. But other countries still clung to the O.S. (Old Style) calendar. That makes writing history really complicated – different nations were using different calendars that didn't match day or even, at times, month. So whenever historians consult resources, they have to figure out if dates given are Old Style or New Style.

(Bulgaria didn't convert to the Gregorian calendar until 1916.)

Check out some of the things that make Bulgaria special:

Fields of sunflowers are starting to fade and fall now, now that it's so close to fall (like, um...tomorrow!), but they are gorgeous in late summer!

There can be ordinary, modern, suburban scenes like this...but then you realize that these folks are waiting for shepherds to bring back their goats and sheep from pasture. So...that' not what happens in the suburb I live in, in So. Cal.!

 These  natural bridges are called “The Marvelous Bridges.” I guess you can easily see why!

The Rila Mountains are fairly close to Bulgaria's capital city, Sofia. And there are some lovely lakes in the Rila Mountains.

This cirque (glacier-formed hollow) holds seven lakes. They are called the Seven Rila Lakes. But, you know, in Bulgarian.

Belogradchik looks amazing! This is a medieval fortress among the famous Belogradchik Rocks.

Even though I've already written a bit about Buzludzha in an earlier post, I had to include it here, as well – it's that amazing. Click through to see more photos!

Also on this date:

Elephant Appreciation Day

Plan ahead:

Check out my Pinterest boards for:
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