Visit a Kukeri festival was a must-do on my bucket list for years and I was very disappointed that I missed Surva festival in Pernik this year. But as everything happens at the right moment, one day I saw an advertisement for a day trip from Varna to Kukerlandia 2019! Here we go, I signed up and took the road. Kukerlandia is a Kukeri festival held in Jambol, Bulgaria every year. Kukeri is a pagan tradition coming from the Thracians and celebrates the end of the winter and the beginning of the fertile season. Kukeri are costumed men and women who perform traditional rituals to scare away evil spirits. Their costumes are made of fur and feathers and cover a big part of their bodies. An important part of the costumes are the masks. The masks are very big, even huge, and represents animals. The symbol of this year’s Kukerlandia was a giant 6-meters high mask.
Large bells attached to the belt make an integral part of Kukeri costumes. They create a specific sound intended to scare away the evil spirits.
On our way to Kukergrad, we passed by the Salt Museum in Pomorie.
Pomorie is a small town on the South Black Sea famous for its Salt evaporation ponds. The Salt Museum possesses 20 acres of salt evaporation ponds where salt is extracted using ancient technology. The museum shows salt extraction equipment as well as the evolution of the salt production till nowadays. I really enjoyed the place and brought a jar of salt as a souvenir from my visit!
Next stop: Kukerlandia 2019
Kukerlandia is a Kukeri carnival held every year in Jambol, Bulgaria. It’s famous for the highest masks shown there – the symbol of this year’s carnival was a 6-meters high mask as well as other 3-meters high were exposed and shown during the festival. Around 100 groups of Kukeri from different places participated in the Kukeri competition. There were Kukeri troupes from Korea and China as well. The highlights of Kukerlandia 2019? – you’ll have the unique chance to see the biggest Kukeri masks in the world; the festival is held in the central park of Jambol and it’s not as crowded as you would expect, you will see the repetitions of all the participants in front of you (and would be able to make tons of pictures with them ): and the last, Kukerlandia is very well organized and super fun):
After being blessed by a fake pope it was time for me to head to Aquae Calidae.
Aquae Calidae is a tourist attraction located in Burgas. The initial Thermae was founded by the Thracians and protected by the three nymphs – healers protectors of the hot mineral waters. Romans conserved the Thermae because of their healing waters, but unfortunately, their enemies destroyed them in the 13th century. The Thermes have become ruins. Later, they were restored by Suleiman the Magnificent who has found a cure to his diseases in the healing waters of Aquae Calidae. Nowadays the Thermae is a tourist spot with a 3D show tracing the history of the site.
Are you excited to visit Kukerlandia one day? Keep calm and be a Kuker!
Thanks for reading!