Day of Slavic Writing and Culture

Day of Slavic Writing and Culture

Every year on May 24, all Slavic countries commemorate Saints Cyril and Methodius, as well as the Day of Slavic Writing and Culture. In Ukraine, the holiday was established in accordance with a presidential decree of September 17, 2004, on the day of commemoration of Equal-to-the-Apostles Cyril and Methodius – representatives of the Enlightenment, who played a prominent role in the development and formation of Slavic writing and culture, patrons of Europe.

Cyril (827-869) and his older brother Methodius (815-885) are Bulgarians by origin. They were born in the Macedonian city of Thessalonica (present-day Greece) in the warlord's family. Unlike Cyril, who was one hundred percent humanist, Methodius was in military service, but such a career did not satisfy him, so he became a monk and later the abbot of a monastery in Asia Minor. Subsequently, the brothers united in educational activities. They translated liturgical books into the Slavic language, they themselves wrote original works, preached Orthodoxy, opposed the German Catholic clergy, opened schools at the churches, and trained students. They arranged the Slavic alphabet and translated the Gospel into the Old Church Slavonic (Old Bulgarian) language.

The Glagolitic script, with Cyril believed to be its author, formed the basis of Cyrillic. The alphabets of many Slavic peoples were formed on its basis. Romanians and Moldovans have until recently used the Cyrillic alphabet, but then they switched to Latin. In October 2017, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a decree on the transfer of the Kazakh language to the Latin alphabet.

This year, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, after meeting with Polish historian and journalist Ziemowit Szczerek, on his Facebook page called for discussing the introduction of the Latin alphabet in Ukraine, along with the Cyrillic alphabet.

Among the Slavic countries Cyrillic is currently used by Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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