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Rila Lakes, Rila, Bulgaria
Location of Bulgaria (dark green)
Bulgaria (; Bulgarian: България, romanized: Bǎlgarija), officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in Southeast Europe. It lies on the eastern flank of the Balkans, and is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and North Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east. Bulgaria covers a territory of 110,994 square kilometres (42,855 sq mi), and is the sixteenth-largest country in Europe. Sofia is the nation's capital and largest city; other major cities are Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas.
Bulgaria is a developing country, with an upper-middle-income economy, ranking 56th in the Human Development Index. Its market economy is part of the European Single Market and is largely based on services, followed by industry—especially machine building and mining—and agriculture. Widespread corruption is a major socioeconomic issue; Bulgaria ranked as the most corrupt country in the European Union in 2018. The country also faces a demographic crisis, with its population shrinking annually since around 1990; it currently numbers roughly seven million, down from a peak of nearly nine million in 1988. Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, NATO, the Council of Europe; it is also a founding member of the OSCE, and has taken a seat on the United Nations Security Council three times. (Full article...)
Selected article -
To farmers of eastern Europe, the ala was a demon
who led hail
over their fields, ruining their crops.
An ala or hala (plural: ale or hali) is a female mythological creature recorded in the folklore of Bulgarians, Macedonians, and Serbs. Ale are considered demons of bad weather whose main purpose is to lead hail-producing thunderclouds in the direction of fields, vineyards, or orchards to destroy the crops, or loot and take them away. Extremely voracious, ale particularly like to eat children, though their gluttony is not limited to Earth. It is believed they sometimes try devouring the Sun or the Moon, causing eclipses, and that it would mean the end of the world should they succeed. When people encounter an ala, their mental or physical health, or even life, are in peril; however, her favor can be gained by approaching her with respect and trust. Being in a good relationship with an ala is very beneficial, because she makes her favorites rich and saves their lives in times of trouble.
The appearance of an ala is diversely and often vaguely described in folklore. A given ala may look like a black wind, a gigantic creature of indistinct form, a huge-mouthed, humanlike, or snakelike monster
, a female dragon
, or a raven
. An ala may also assume various human or animal shapes
, and can even possess
a person's body. It is believed that the diversity of appearances described is due to the ala's being a synthesis of a Slavic demon of bad weather and a similar demon of the central Balkans
pre-Slavic population. In folk tales with a humanlike ala, her personality is similar to that of the Russian Baba Yaga
. Ale are said to live in the clouds, or in a lake, spring, hidden remote place, forest, inhospitable mountain, cave, or gigantic tree. While ale are usually hostile towards humans, they do have other powerful enemies that can defeat them, like dragons. In Christianized
tales, St. Elijah
takes the dragons' role, but in some cases the saint and the dragons fight ale together. Eagles
are also regarded as defenders against ale, chasing them away from fields and thus preventing them from bringing hail clouds overhead. (Full article...
Did You Know?
- ...that during the period of Communist rule, Dobrich was renamed Tolbukhin , but was renamed back to Dobrich by presidential decree in 1990?
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Maritsa is a river in South Bulgaria.
Sofia is the bigest city in Bulgaria
Razgrad is a city in East Bulgaria.
Rila is a mountain in West Bulgaria
Varna lake is a salt lake near Black sea.