Sofia, Bulgaria (Balita News) – On May 24, the Day of the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius, of the Bulgarian Alphabet, Education and Culture and of Slav Letters was celebrated with a solemn procession in Sofia. President Rumen Radev and Vice President Iliana Iotova joined the ceremony.

The procession began at 10:30 a.m. from the Ministry of Education and Science near the fountain in front of the Archaeological Museum and continued to the Monument of the Holy Brothers in front of the “St. Cyril and Methodius” National Library. The official ceremony began at 11:00 a.m. and was attended by President Radev, Vice President Iotova, caretaker Prime Minister Galab Donev, ministers, Sofia Municipality officials, Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova, BTA Director General Kiril Valchev, and numerous public figures.

President Rumen Radev delivered a greeting and presented flowers at the monument of the Holy Brothers in front of the National Library. “We Bulgarians are an integral part of Europe not by mercy, but by contribution, not for favors, but for merits. Today we should be proud of that,” Radev said. He added that in the field of science and culture people remain students all their lives.

“Significant cultural processes in Europe started from Bulgaria. The Bulgarian alphabet, the Slavic literary and liturgical tradition, and Bogomilism are embedded in the cultural code of the continent,” the Bulgarian Head of State added.

National Assembly Chair Rosen Zhelyazkov told attendees at the pilgrimage to the relics of St Cyril at Rome’s Basilica of St Clement that the literary and educational activity of Cyril and Methodius is part of the image of modern Europe.

May 24 is a holiday that brings positive emotions to all Bulgarians, according to Continue the Change co-leader Kiril Petkov. He also congratulated Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov for winning the International Booker Prize with his novel “Time Shelter”.

Mariya Gabriel, GERB-UDF’s nominee for rotating prime minister, congratulated Bulgarians on Facebook. She thanked teachers and lecturers for their work as well as scientists, artists, cultural and educational figures for their creativity and dedication.

Movement for Rights and Freedoms leader Mustafa Karadayi wrote on Facebook that this holiday obliges us to know and respect Bulgarian culture. Vazrazhdane leader Kostadin Kostadinov called on everyone to write their name in Bulgarian letters on Facebook as a symbolic gesture.

Socialist leader Kornelia Ninova expressed gratitude to Bulgarian teachers, scientific, educational and cultural figures. There Is Such a People party leader Slavi Trifonov wrote on his official Facebook profile that language, writing, speech, and words are the main pillar that supports the Bulgarian nation.

Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova said in her speech in front of the National Library that the Cyrillic alphabet is the prayer and sword of Bulgaria’s future and independence. Bulgarian writer Georgi Bardarov expressed his optimism about the younger generation.

The “Let’s Read” festival started at 11:00 a.m. on Slaveykov Square and will continue throughout the day. At 6:30 p.m. at the National History Museum in Sofia, President Radev and his wife will host a reception on the occasion of the Day of the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius, of the Bulgarian alphabet, education and culture and of Slavonic literature.