Bulgaria Commemorates Death of Revolutionary Hristo BotevSociety | June 2, 2014, Monday // 13:20| views
Hristo Botev. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Sirens went off across Bulgaria at 12:00 to commemorate the 138th anniversary of the death of poet and revolutionary Hristo Botev.
Hristo Botev was born on December 25, 1847 (new style: January 6, 1848) in the town of Kalofer, in the family of the teacher Botio Petkov and Ivanka Boteva. Botev began writing poetry while still in school, under the influence of the Bulgarian folklore and songs glorifying the "haiduks" - rebels and outlaws fighting the Ottoman rule.
Botev's poetry soon became very popular and his poems turned into folklore - they were sung as folk songs without people even knowing their author's name.
In his work as a journalist, Botev became well known with his sharp and unforgiving wit and scathing criticism not only of Ottoman rule, but also of public vices amongst Bulgarians, such as selfishness, and narrow-mindedness.
After the start of the 1876 April Uprising, which had the goal to liberate Bulgaria and is considered the apogee of the fight for independence, Botev began organising volunteer units to help the rebels.
On June 1 Botev's unit engaged in its heaviest fight with the Turkish army. Botev was hit by a bullet and died at the foot of the Vola in the western Stara Planina mountains, near the town of Vratza.
The following date, June 2, was officially declared as the Day of Botev and of Those Who Have Perished in the Fight for Bulgaria's Independence.