site.btaUPDATED Sofia Celebrates Its City Holiday with Number of Events
On September 17, Sofia celebrated the day of its patron Saint Sophia the Martyr and her three daughters, Faith, Hope and Charity.
A festive programme and a number of events awaited the citizens of Sofia and the guests of the city on Sunday, said the press centre of Sofia Municipality.
In the morning, a solemn session of the Sofia Municipal Council took place, at which honorary citizens artist and teacher Stanislav Pamukchiev, poet Georgi Konstantinov, writer Georgi Gospodinov and America for Bulgaria Foundation President Nancy Schiller were awarded. The Petar Beron community centre, as well as translators Angela Rodel and Marie Vrinat also received a badge of honour.
In her speech at the beginning of the Sofia Municipal Council session, Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova said that during the past four years, there have been many severe crises - from a global pandemic, through huge inflation, waves of refugees, to political instability. "As a local authority, we resisted and did a lot and did not allow major crises to turn into crises of Sofia," she stressed. Fandakova thanked the administration and all the municipal councilors, both for the support and for the disputes they led.
"Sofia is eternal and deserves our devotion. Elections come and go, and what remains is the fate of a million and a half citizens who have trusted 61 city elders to look after their affairs," said Sofia Municipal Council Chair Georgi Georgiev during the session. He thanked the Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova, for her work for the city. Georgiev also made a brief assessment of what was done by the Sofia Municipal Council in its four-year mandate.
All municipal councilors received the book Sketches of Sofia by photographer Ivan Shishiev as a gift.
Later, a solemn raising of the flag of Sofia took place in front of the Saint Sofia Church. National Assembly Chair Rosen Zhelyazkov, accepted the guard of honour. A solemn water blessing was performed by priests from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The ceremony was also attended by Vice President Iliana Iotova, Sofia Municipal Council Chair Georgi Georgiev, politicians, public figures and citizens.
"Sofia is a different city today," said Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova in her speech at ceremony. She expressed gratitude for the trust she received during her 14 years in her post.
In the afternoon, the Sofia Municipality Awards for outstanding achievements in the field of culture were presented at the Sofia City Art Gallery. Writer and literature professor Kiril Topalov was the winner of this year's Sofia Special Award for outstanding achievements and contribution to national culture.
A festive concert on the stage of Sofia Summer Fest took place later in the day. Artists Lyubo Kirov, Inner Glow and Jupiter 7 performed, while actor Alexander Kadiev was the host.
The Sofia Regional History Museum's permanent and temporary exhibitions were free for the day. The branches of the museum had extended working hours and were free of charge, including the Archaeological Level of St. Sophia Basilica, the Triangular Tower of Serdica and the Ancient Serdica Archaeological Complex.