Vigils for Self-Immolator Goranov Held in Sofia, VarnaSociety | April 11, 2013, Thursday // 20:31| views
A vigil for Bulgaria's "Jan Palah" was held in the Black Sea city of Varna, in front of the building of the City Hall, where Goranov set himself on fire. Photo by BGNES
Bulgarians across the country held vigils Thursday evening in honor of the young man who fatally set himself on fire in Varna in February to protest against the links between the city council and the mafia.
A solemn mass was served in the capital Sofia's "Sveta Nedelya" church. Several dozens of Bulgarians then went to the main courthouse and wrote Goranov's name with flowers and candles on the bottom of its steps.
There is also a poster with his name with his date of birth crossed with a black line and the infinity sign by his date of death.
Organizers distributed stickers with a bloody palm and the inscription Stop, symbolizing the desire to bring an end to the self-immolation wave in the country and the self-destruction of Bulgarian people.
A vigil was also held in the Black Sea city of Varna, in front of the building of the City Hall, where Goranov set himself on fire. Locals have erected a makeshift monument of the young man, heaping stones, rocks and flowers. Scores of luminous lanterns were sent to the evening sky in his memory.
April 11 marks 40 days since Plamen's passing away, which is considered the time when the soul leaves the earth and goes to heaven.
Goranov, 36, took the drastic action on February 20, amid a wave of massive protests across the country against poverty, economic stagnation and corruption.
In addition to demanding the resignation of fourth-term Varna Mayor, Kiril Yordanov, he was one of the few to explicitly blame shady TIM business group, centered in Varna, for the dire situation in the country and in the north-east in particular.
Bulgarians, especially those on social networks, have called him a martyr of the protests in comparing him with Czech student, Jan Palach.
Goranov died on March 3, which many have seen as symbolic since the day is the country's national holiday when Bulgaria celebrates its liberation from 5 centuries of Ottoman rule.
Yordanov resigned on March 6.