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Folk costume festival in Zheravna – journey into history and tradition

{ include file="./partials/authors.html" } БНР Новини
Photo: www.nosia.bg

Have you ever wanted to make a journey through time? To go to times people live calm and simple lives and nature and traditions are part of the lifestyle? You can actually do it if you decide to spend the days between 22th and 24 of August near the Bulgarian town of Zheravna where an annual folk costume festival is held. Being there, one is immersed in the authentic atmosphere of the Bulgarian Revival.

Everyone takes part in the festival, wearing traditional costumes: authentic, or new. Bad mood and not participating in different games are now allowed. The use of a cell phone or cameras is also prohibited. Perhaps this seems too much, but our ancestors managed to keep their memories and communicate without the use of such technology. Festival guests can taste various traditional specialties: cakes, sausages, barbecue. People listen to folk songs and take part in performances of folklore ensembles from all over Bulgaria. If they wish, they can learn new songs, dances, and practice traditional folk crafts. During the festival a traditional wrestling tournament will be held as well as masquerade games, and fire dancing. More from organizer of the festival Hristo Dimitrov:

In Zheravna we hold the folk costume festival for the seventh consecutive year. The village is an incredible architectural reserve. I do not know whether this is the most beautiful place in Bulgaria. In fact, there are several such towns – Koprivshtitsa, Kovachevica and Bozhentsi. But I think Zheravna is best preserved and the best place for this festival. Firstly because of its ancient architecture; because of the nature and landscape, which makes it possible to organize this festival, and because of the people."

We asked Hristo Dimitrov if he planned something new and different this year.

Every year there is a basis to which we stick, but there is always something new and different. This happens because of initiatives of participants, or as new bands come to the festival.”

In Bulgaria the number of festivals has been on the rise but how does the Zheravna festival attract visitors?

We are not trying to attract them but actually to limit their number. Last year some 15 000 people came, while there are only 500 hotel beds in Zheravna. There are no vacancies some 70 kilometers around Zheravna. Naturally, the development of the festival goes through a tent camp and caravans.”

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: www.nosia.bg

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