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Elin Pelin hosts 50th anniversary of Shoppe Festival

Photo: elinpelin.org

Between June 17 and 23 the residents and the guests of the town of Elin Pelin will celebrate in the rhythm of the Shoppe songs and dances. The Shoppe folklore tradition has long ago won the love of the audience, of many generations of Bulgarian writers, ethnographers and amateur talents who dedicated their lives to it. There is a real treasure in the Shopluka area. A cleaner language, better lyrics, a more reasonable humor and epos cannot be found anywhere else in this country, the renowned Bulgarian folklorist Mihail Arnaudov says. The inspiring literature works left by Bulgaria’s celebrated writer Elin Pelin has also contributed significantly to the development of the local festival. The Shoppi with their unique temperament are favorite characters in his artistic works. They are practical people who are also known for their stubbornness and obstinacy. However, thanks to their incredible sense of humor they are able to mock their own vice. It is very difficult to describe a Shoppe, which is proven by the words of Bulgaria’s great painter Vladimir Dimitrov –The Master who once admitted that: A lifetime is not enough to draw a head of a Shoppe. Here is what the Mayor of Elin Pelin Ivaylo Simeonov told Radio Bulgaria about the Shoppe festival:

The Shoppe Festival will again gather the people who love the town of Elin Pelin and the Shoppe traditions. We are expecting a lot of people. This year is special, because we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the festival under the motto Shoppe Festival is Tradition. We are honored that the festival will be held under the auspices of Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev. The festival begins on June 17 – (the day of the Christian Feast Pentecost Monday, also known as the Day of the Holy Spirit) in Tsarkveto locality in the vicinity of Elin Pelinwhere this town emerged. Being worthy descendants of our ancestors we gather every year to honor their deed. Every big local family has its own separate area where they prepare a special boiled mutton soup. The liturgy starts on 12 pm. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are days of cultural events with the participation of local Shoppe ensembles. The festival also envisages film shows, exhibitions of local artists, children’s concerts and various competitions. Thus, our guests will see how colorful the life of the Shop is and how many cultural and sports activities are developed in our municipality. We have published our programme on the Internet, so that people can choose their events. The popular Serbian singer Dragana will arrive from our twin-town of Leskovac. We always invite representatives of our twin-towns and cities on our holidays. I believe that the biggest guarantee for peace and good neighborliness is to know the culture of the other countries, to honor and respect each other. Over 10,000 people are expected to attend our festival. I would advise people to come earlier, so they can be seated. The official part of the Shoppe Festival is on Friday when President Radev will deliver a speech. Later, our programme will begin. Our folklore ensembles, orchestras and cheerleaders will perform on this day. The residents and the guests of Elin Pelin will be able to see a colorful palette of traditional cultural events. I would like to invite once again the people to come to the town of Elin Pelin and enjoy the local Shoppe traditions. I hope they will like our programme.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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