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Margarita Petkova: We will sink again in the magic of folklore during Belokamenitsa 2019 festival

The village of Tsarevets is situated in the pre-Balkans (a chain of low mountains that stretch parallel to the Balkan Mountain range). It is 10 kilometers away from the town of Mezdra and 24 kilometers away from the district city of Vratsa in Northwest Bulgaria. To the north, it is surrounded by a chain of hills which protect the village from the strong northerly winds. It borders Iskar River to the south. Stone quarries were discovered near the village long time ago. The world-famous Vratsa Limestone is extracted in these quarries. Stonemasonry is the main occupation of the local population. The village has ancient historical and cultural roots. The rock niches and small caves are quite remarkable. Some prehistoric paintings, as well as paintings dating back to the Middle Ages and the Revival Period were discovered in these caves. The old church Saint Nickolas which was built back in the 14th century retains the only masonry iconostasis in the Balkans. The murals date back to the 17th century.

The village of Tsaravets is a wonderful destination for tourism and recreation where visitors can get acquainted with the culture and the traditions of Northwest Bulgaria. Tourists can also visit the 4th edition of the village folklore festival which will be held on August 31, the mayor of Tsarevts village Margarita Petkova told Radio Bulgaria and added.

When you arrive in Tsarevets, you will see the coat of arms of our village engraved into a stone which is illuminated in the colors of the Bulgarian national flag. You can see the Bulgarian national flag on every single house. You can also see the soldier’s monument, the two churches (the old and the new one) and the local school. The folklore festival is organized by the village council and the local community center Prosveta 1928. It is held in the last Saturday of August, close to the day of the Assumption of Mary (according to the old style calendar). The stonemasons’ feast day is also celebrated on August 31. We want to popularize our folklore and show the beauty of one of the best developed crafts in Tsarevets-  the extraction and processing of the high-quality Vratsa Limestone. The skillful and talented craftsmen from Tsarevts village left a permanent mark on many significant sites in Bulgaria. Many folklore formations and soloists will compete at the traditional folklore festival. They will receive certificates and statuettes. There is a special money prize awarded by the jury. The participants compete in four different categories- authentic, processed and dance folklore and brass orchestra category.  People of all age categories and ethnic groups can participate at the folklore competition free of charge. We believe that all people who participate and visit the folklore festival must feel good. We provide food, water, security and medical services. Each folklore group brings its own sapling and plants it in a designated area. They like this idea a lot. We put a sign in front of every tree with the details of the people who plant it. Bulgaria’s celebrated folklore singer Valya Balkanska, bagpipe player Petar Yanev and a folklore group from the town of Smolyan will attend this year’s edition of the festival. Scottish bagpipers, who attracted huge interest last year, will attend the folklore festival again. The application deadline is over. However, all folklore groups and soloists wishing to join the festival are more than welcome. Let us meet on August 31 and recreate the beauty of our folk art. Welcome! We are expecting you at the village of Tsarevets! We are ready to meet you and spend an unforgettable and wonderful day together.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

Photos: library

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