In the 18th and 19th centuries, the citizens of Plovdiv welcomed the sunrise on the 1st of May at the top of Bunardzhika


In Plovdiv that day has much deeper roots and in the past, it was associated with one of the most beloved hills. Bunardzhika has become famous as the place where the residents of the city welcomed the Sun on the current Labor Day. In the 18th and 19th centuries the day was known as the "maisa".

Hundreds of citizens headed to the top of the hill to welcome the sunrise of spring, when it was still dark. It was thought that whoever catches the first rays will be lucky all year long, they will be healthy, their business will thrive. People started going up as early as 3-4 o'clock in the morning. But today’s path wasn’t there, there weren’t any steps. Up there were only rocks and steep paths. And the people - they fell, they rose, they rolled, but they continued upwards. After that, a big party was organized with eating and drinking on the vast meadow at the top. There was a gypsy orchestra, among which there were many intellectuals - they displayed their talents on violin, cello and similar instruments. Around this time, there was also another celebrity café owner on the hill who liked to welcome his guests on the top. Gradually, at the end of the 19th century, the holiday got a different character and the celebration of the “maisa” lost its appeal.

The first attempt to celebrate May 1st in Bulgaria in 1890 was at the initiative of the Bulgarian Typographic Society in Sofia, and in 1893 a mass celebration of the holiday in Sofia, Plovdiv and Vidin was documented. In 1939, by decree of Tsar Boris III, May 1st was declared an official holiday, and after the political changes of September 9, 1944 Labor Day became one of the most beloved and honored holidays in our country. Over the next 45 years, it has been traditionally celebrated with large-scale manifestations throughout the country.

After November 10, 1989, May 1 continues to be an official holiday and a non-working day, but the organization of mass events, like in the time of socialism, is no longer done by the state authorities.