The Parsifal project (2018-1-PL01-KA201-050865) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Bulgarian Essay on Similar Moral and Ethical Meaning and Purposes


The main motives, driving characters in Bulgarian legends are connected with love, overcoming difficulties, sacrifice for a greater good, proving courage and strength, beauty, which usually leads to some disaster (kidnapping of beautiful women, jealousy and death, unwanted marriages, envy).

Imagination is a unique tool that each of us has. Children's imagination is a key factor that models a child's well-defined life. Legends and tales can be an integral part of the quest to enrich the creativity of young people at any age.
Tales are much more than the real life stories that entertain our children. These fantastic stories are important in encouraging the introduction and creativity of children, many of which contain valuable lessons that offer unique learning opportunities.

By tales and legends young people can learn about cultural differences in the world and see that despite differences the lesson is simple and important - "be a hero, not a villain!"

Fairy tales develop critical thinking. Young people must analyze characters' decisions and consider the choice sets what happens to them. There are rules distinguishing between good and bad, but it is said that anyone can go wrong and be reckless. Legends and fairytales tell that whatever the situation is, a solution can be found. If they think carefully before acting, they can achieve great things and overcome serious challenges.
Values are an abstraction. Values help people feel part of a group – by legends and fairytales it is easy to convey a meaning to specific categories of moral lessons, which can or cannot be adopted by a person, but this is shown through the decision of different characters and seeing the consequences of certain decisions a person can more easily choose which moral category he/she would like to adopt as his/her own. Through symbolism readers can project decisions in their own lives. What makes legends and tales interesting as literature form is that they are simple and the common roots of main moral values can be traced in all European legends. No matter if this is shown through religion (belief in God) or through imaginary situations and impossible challenges from mythical creatures it is always the moral dilemma of the person to choose a side – the side of light or darkness, good or bad and show discipline to overcome the temptations, which can convert him from the right way.

Many of the Bulgarian legends aim to show that no characteristic or feeling is strictly intrinsic t to “good” or “bad” characters.  It is usually the moral choice and the situation the character needs to overcome that makes him good or bad (for example in the story of Pirin’s Dragon the Dragon kidnaps a fair lady to marry her, but then hi starts protects the village and his son starts one of the most powerful – good, helpful family clans in the village).

The main moral and ethical meaning of the Pirin's dragon legend is about fight with evil and how good can prevail. In the legend of the Pirin's dragon, it is told about how the dragon takes the best girls from the village to be his wives; how his son takes revenge for his father's murder, how the boy helps his family because he is strong, and also how he protects the village from evil (heroism).  The legend of the Pirin's dragon is about how good can flourish from evil and how the two intervene in human souls.

In the Devil's bridge legend the main moral and ethical themes are about fight between good and bad, fight between honesty and dishonesty, sacrifice, honor above love. Three builders need to build a bridge to last and endure the strong river waters, but they fail until a wise man advises them how to outsmart the Devil, who puts all obstacles in their way and ruins the bridge. However the win of good over evil comes with a price - the life of the beloved wife of one of the builders. The story tells us that there is always a way to overcome the obstacles in our way, but we need to be ready to pay the price. In Bulgaria there is even a saying "don't ask for too much because you will not be able to price for it". 

The main themese in this legend are love, happiness, unhappiness, treachery and envy. Basically the legend for the Belogradchik rocks cover all the spectrum of events, important in one's life. 

All the endings in the Belogradchik legends are tragic and they come to show how important traditions and acceptance from society were for people in the past (in the legend the love between two young souls end tragically because it is not approved by the people, they are living with). May be in a way this is connected with some national Bulgarian characteristics, since people in Bulgaria believe that too good is not good. 

About treachery and envy - they represent evil, but not as evil coming from a higher power or a mythical creature, but evil that lives in every man's soul. In Bulgarian legends often evil comes from people and shows the dual nature of every living creature. Nothing is only black or white in Bulgarian legends. 

In the legend of Belintash the main moral and ethical meanings and purposes are related to love (in the legend presented as love between Zeus and Persephone, and also as love to the child, which was born as result from this love), resistance to evil, connection between the living and non-living matter. In the legend these themes appear as result of the specific charactersitc of the Belintash area in the Rhodopa mountain - it has very strange magnetic filed and people believe that whatever happens there has a divine origin. The topics of love and protection of love, about the connection between life and death are universal ones, people have always thought of different legends to show that death is not a final destination in one's path. In the legend of Belintash this is shown trough the possibilites of God Sabazius to be divided in pieces and then made whole again. In the legend there is also envy and evil that wants to hurt the innocent child of Zeus and Persephone, but with the help of the good gods the child is saved. Good wins to show that there is always hope. 

In the legend of Rhodopa the Gods are acting upon their own whim. The legend is focused on jealousy and egoism, ehich even the beauty and good heart of the fair lady Rhodopa could not stop. Bulgarian legends are usually tragic ones, because through suffering and tragedy one can appreciate good, fair, and noble and turn to the light (good) side of events in order not to reach a tragic end. 

The main moral and ethical purposes of this Bulgarian legend are to show how honest and good people will always find a way to escape evil; this is also strictly related to the belief in God. Faith is a main motiv that helps the main character escape the evil-minded chasers. Her faith does miracles and helps her find a way trhough the stone in order to escape and save her life. The legend procalims the faith in God as an ultimate good, which can literally save lives. 

The Devil's love throat cave legend is about love and magic; about the courage, bravery needed to save your love and how weak men are in the face of great ordeal. Orpheus the great Tracian musician, who enchanted everyone with his music married Euridyce, but she died and he went to the underworld to save her. However he failed to fulfil the conditions set by the Lord of the underworld and he lost his beloved wife forever. 

The legend comes to show that even the greatest power and magic might not be helpful to have a good life, love and happiness if the person doesn't have the discipline and nerve to fulfil what is necessary, to overcome the difficulties and walk the walk till the end.