In full bloom | Sofia, Bulgaria

While most of the Christian world celebrates Easter today, Bulgaria – which goes by the Orthodox Calendar (Easter is next Sunday, according to it) marks Tsvetnitsa (the equivalent of Palm Sunday, whose name is derived from the world tsvete – ‘flower’).

Besides the religious meaning of the holiday, Tsvetnitsa also has a markedly secular spirit as the name day of people whose names are related to or derived from flowers, trees, or anything from botany or nature in general, such as Lily, Violeta, Margarita, Tsvetan(a) Yavor (‘sycamore’) and Yasen (‘ash tree’) –  and yes, those last two are very common men’s names.

This is usually kind of perfect, as the day falls right when spring has finally arrived and seems set to stay. Or at least that’s what it looked like yesterday, when the sun was shining and flowers were in full bloom. Today it’s rainy, gloomy and cold, but that’s spring for you, I guess.

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