Surva Festival 2020
Surva 2020 ( Kukeri – International Festival of the Masquerade Games )
In ancient Bulgaria, wearing masks was believed to provide protection from evil, ensure a successful harvest, and guarantee health and fertility for humans and farm animals. Many of these pagan rituals, which were later incorporated into Christianity, are still performed in eastern Bulgaria between the holidays of Christmas and Easter. Rituals held around the New Year are known as Surva, while those performed around Easter are known as Kukeri. Today the International Festival of the Masquerade Games, held in the town of Pernik, still celebrates these customs. During the festival, which is the biggest event on the Balkan Peninsula, single men and women called Kukeri and Survakari, don traditional Bulgarian costumes and elaborate masks and parade down the streets of Pernik.
Many legends date back to the 7th centuries the First Bulgarian Empire, however other tales relate to the Thracian times. In 1995 the International Federation of Carnival Cities accepted the town of Pernik as a full member. In June, 2009, Pernik was proclaimed as the European capital of Survas & Mummers and included in the UNESCO list of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Morning drive to Pernik and become part of the International Festival of the Masquerade Games. On average, around 6,000 people (about 100 groups) from every folklore region of Bulgaria, as well as companies from Europe, Asia, and Africa take part in the contest. The contestants come here to win, to experience the atmosphere, to have fun and be part of the magic. Enjoy the Bulgarian folklore costumes and local food. Late afternoon drive to Sofia and evening at your leisure.
This tour is offered on set dates in January 2020, please check the dates with us first. But you can always ask for the upcoming festivals. Our tours are built all around you. Don’t forget that you decide what, when and how!
When: Saturday, January 25, 2020 – Sunday, January 26, 2020 – Estimated date!
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