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July Morning event in Plovdiv

July Morning event in Plovdiv

6/18/2007 11:33:18 AM

All night long rock marathon for meeting July Morning* will be organized for the first time in BG. The veteran musicians from the legendary “Signal”rock band have been invited.

The in itiative belongs to the Plovdiv Municipality and the KMD communal company, partner of Ecobulpack. Students of the National High School of Stage and Film Design in Plovdiv will also take part in the event by building up avant-garde sculptures made of plastic bottles and other trash.

*

In Bulgaria, there is a tradition called July Morning (Bulgarian: ?????? or ??????, Julaya or July) dating from the hippy period in the 1980s and maybe as far back as the 1970s. Young (and not so young) people from all over the country travel (often hitchhike) to the Black Sea coast on the night of June 30 to meet the first sun rays on the 1st of July. Naturally, British rock band Uriah Heep's 1972 hit July Morning is the main refrain.

Although the tradition was emotionally linked to the hippy movement in America, it is still popular in Bulgaria. It is probably not observed anywhere else, because of its specific role as a subtle protest during communist times. Celebrations started in Varna and in recent years have spread to Kamen Bryag [1], Kavarna, Irakli, Burgas [2], Sozopol, and Varvara, among others, as well as Plovdiv [3]. Initially, celebrants gathered on Pier 1 in Port of Varna East; now the vigil takes place on beaches as well.

Some argue that the tradition has lost its original meaning over time. Also, younger people do not necessarily know under what circumstances it was started or even who the author of the song was (namely, Uriah Heep). In Bulgaria, the sea is associated in the first place with summer vacation and good time, and July 1 is about when vacation starts for most high schools and colleges.

The feeling of elation from the first morning sun rays as a symbol of a new beginning in life, however, is still the main reason people observe the celebration. July Morning may be related to sun worship (see also Peter Deunov) and to midsummer night rites popular throughout Bulgarian lands ever since antiquity. It is believed that the best way to experience July Morning is to retreat with several friends to one of the quiet beaches on the Black Sea facing east.

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