Bulgarian Roma across the country celebrate Sunday April 8, the International Roma Day.
April 8, the International Day of the Roma, is a day of celebration of Roma culture, history and traditions. The Day also draws attention to discrimination directed to Roma and Gypsy communities globally and calls for all human rights to be respected and observed.
The day was officially declared in 1990 in Serock, Poland, the site of the fourth World Romani Congress of the International Romani Union (IRU), in honor of the first major international meeting of Romani representatives, 7-12 of April, 1971 in Chelsfieldnear London.
Many Roma communities all over Bulgaria mark April 8 with festivals, dance performances, concerts and tournaments, held in a number of Bulgarian cities and towns.
The most wide-spread theory is that Roma first came to Bulgaria around the 11th-12th century through the Byzantine Empire. The mass influx of Roma, however, begins with the Ottoman rule, when many Roma arrive in the footsteps of the Turkish army.