Valentine’s Day in Bulgaria, pass me the wine!

February 14th, most of us around the world know this day as Valentine’s Day. Love it or hate it, we can’t really avoid it. For those couples who enjoy being romantic and spoiling each other at any opportunity Valentine’s day is great. You can take your loved one for a nice candlelit dinner, buy them something sweet or sexy or simply shower them with love. If, however, you’re not in one of those couples, Valentine’s Day can be a little bit annoying. The best thing about being in Bulgaria on February 14th is that it has another meaning here too, it is also the day of the wine. Now, that’s more like it!

Here in Bulgaria you can decide to celebrate Saint Valentine and exchange gifts and messages of love, or you can celebrate Saint Trifon Zarezan, the patron saint of vine growing and wine producing. How do you celebrate the patron saint of wine production? Well, you drink wine of course! There are different stories surrounding the origins of this Orthodox saint however it’s the mystery about him that has made it all the more special. There are rituals performed each year on February 14th, such as the first pruning of the vines which are thought to bring a good harvest.

Personally I’ve never been particularly interested in Valentine’s Day so when I found out that in Bulgaria I could choose to celebrate wine instead I was over the moon. As I’m going to be in Bulgaria on February 14th, it would be rude not to celebrate Saint Trifon Zarezan with a glass or two of wine.

If you haven’t tried Bulgarian wine before you will be in for such a treat. Bulgaria was once the 5th largest exporter of wine in the world however the fall of the communism had a huge impact on the economy and the Bulgarian wine market is still recovering from this today. You may be surprised to know that Bulgaria produced around 200 million litres of wine in 2013 and exports wine all over the world! There’s also some wonderful wineries that you can visit in Bulgaria, something that we plan on doing very soon!

So, if you have someone special in your life, why not buy them a bottle of wine on February 14th and combine the two celebrations! And if you don’t, just treat yourself!

However you choose to celebrate, Happy February 14th.

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