National and Confessional Features of Festivals and Holidays: Structure of the Ritual Year in Modern Lithuania and Bulgaria

  • Žilvytis Šaknys Senior Researcher at the Department of Ethnology and Anthropology, Lithuanian Institute of History, Vilnius, Lithuania
Keywords: Festivals, holidays, ritual years, Lithuania, Bulgaria


The article aims to answer the question of whether different confessions and nationalities are an important factor in structuring a nation’s ritual year. People’s attitude towards state holidays (non-work days) is analysed based on research carried out by the author in 2012-2019 in Sofia (Bulgaria), Vilnius (Lithuania) and the towns and villages of Vilnius County. The study revealed that citizens of both states hold similar of state holidays. More popular are traditional holidays spent mostly with the family than modern holidays, which are often related to the nation’s history and are celebrated with friends. The study also showed that there was little correlation between a holiday being a day off and its popularity. The ethnic and confessional structures of the two states do not constitute significant discrepancies differences with regard to the popularity of traditional and modern holidays.