On the night before the 1st of July something amazing happens in Bulgaria…
We, the Bulgarians, are a special kind of animals. A few days before the 1st of July we all pack up a T-shirt or two, take our backpacks and hit the road.
Some of us start their cars and take the high road.
Some get on their Harley’s and ride with style.
Others – take their guitars and catch the train to Burgas.
And of course, there are the ones who point their thumbs up and hitchhike…
We all go to the Black sea.
We open our tents, light bonfires and gather in groups to spend the night talking, singing and sharing drinks.
We spend the last day of June waiting. Waiting for the first sun rays, on the first day of July.
And we do it, because…
IT’S JULY MORNING!
The tradition called July Morning (Джулай Морнинг) is believed to be an echo from the hippie era of the 1960-1980s and it is not observed anywhere else in the world.
The name comes from the British rock band’s Uriah Heep’s 1971 hit July Morning which became widely popular in Bulgaria in the 1980s. Back then a group of young Bulgarian enthusiasts decided to organize a symbolic protest against the Communist regime that reigned over the country during that time and gathered together on a sandy beach, waiting for the sun to come out listening to the great rock ballad of Uriah Heep.
“The year was 1980, the place – south beach in Varna, the participants – four or five people and the idea belonged to Violin Stankovich. In the autumn most of us were about to enter the army, and this was our last carefree summer. And we used it at full speed with little sleep and lots of shenanigans. It all happened by chance and without any preparation, just Villy said: Hey do you want to spend a night on the beach and watch the sunrise in the morning? We all said YES so it all began. Then we said it would be good to come each summer on this same day. From 1980 to 1983 we had no opportunity to see each other, because we were sent as soldiers to different parts of the country to guard it against “evil imperialists who only waited a convenient time to conquer and enslave us all”.
Nowadays July Morning is a celebration of a new beginning and freedom. There isn’t a strict routine that we follow. What’s important is that we gather with our friends out in the open and we spend a night celebrating our freedom! (:
There I was on a July morning
Looking for love,
With the strength of a new day dawning
And the beautiful sun
At the sound of the first bird singing
I was leaving for home
With the storm and the night behind me
And a road of my own
With the day came the resolution
I’ll be looking for you
La la la la…