Saturday, 24 May 2014
The Story Of An Alphabet
These brothers were originally from Thessalonika in what was Greek Macedonia. The brothers, and their followers began translating the Bible into the new Glagolitic alphabet. They also began spreading the word of Christianity in the Slavic language, so that the majority of the population could understand. The missionary priests that they had replaced were somewhat annoyed at having been ousted from the region. So in a fit of pique these priests accused the brothers and their followers of the serious charge of heresy. The charge was upheld as it contravened the three official languages permitted for teaching Christianity. So in 886AD Bishop Wiching of Nitra banned the new alphabet and imprisoned some 200 followers were imprisoned. The remaining members were expelled from Great Moravia, with many of them fleeing to the South. Some made it as far as Bulgaria where Tsar Boris I granted them asylum. Christianity had arrived in Bulgaria in 865AD but all of the teaching was conducted in Greek. In exchange for asylum Tsar Boris wanted the new Bulgarian priests to be taught in the new Slavic language and alphabet. A shrewd move on the Tsar's part as it helped to maintain Bulgaria's independence.
This alphabet has been about for over 11 centuries, and when Bulgaria gained admission into the European Union in 2007 it became the 23rd national language. Which also meant that Cyrillic became an official European alphabet. So whatever your nationality, and wherever you might be let me wish you 'Честит празник'. I don't know of anywhere else which has a celebration as unique as this, so it is quite possibly a solely Bulgarian event.
24 Май - Празник на славянската писменост, на българската просвета и култура