Local and authentic festivals in Bulgaria – which one to visit?

Local and authentic festivals in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a must-visit country for every festival addicts. No matter when and where there will be a festival or а local feast for sure. Thus, I am going to make an ultimate guide to local and authentic festivals in Bulgaria to help you choose which one to visit.

Chase the evil during local Kukeri Festivals

No doubts the summer in Bulgaria is awesome – nice wheater, summer dolce farniente on the beach, an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. However, if you prefer to come in the winter for skiing, don’t miss out to participate in Kukeri festivals. Festival “Surva” is the most famous one and takes place in January in the city of Pernik. The participants are called Kukeri and wear scary masks and copper belts to frighten the evil.

I visited Kukerlandia in Yambol and was more than impressed. The Kukeri festivities are once in a lifetime experience and if you decide to visit Bulgaria check out when and where you can be frightened by a Kuker ):

Kukerlandia in Yambol, Bulgaria
Kukerlandia in Yambol

Festival of Roses in Kazanlak and local villages

Next on list comes the Festival of Roses. It is famous worldwide and takes place the first week of June in the Kazanlak region and the Rose Valley. Most of all it celebrates the flowers, the beauty and the fertility. Seems like, this is the first festival in Bulgaria organized back in 1903. If you decide to join the festivities, don’t miss out the Rose picking and the Oil extraction rituals. To learn more about Kazanlak rose, check out The Rose Museum.

Rose oil extraction ritual, Festival of Roses in Kazanlak
Rose oil extraction ritual, Festival of Roses in Kazanlak

Varna Summer Festival

We continue to visit the local and authentic festivals in Bulgaria and it’s time to head to Varna. Varna is the biggest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and offers a lot of cultural events, especially in the summer. Varna Summer Festival with its rich program of theatre plays, operas, ballet and jazz competitions starts in June and ends in August. Varna Summer Jazz Festival is an absolute must-see if you hang out in Varna in the summer.

Varna Jazz Festival
Varna Jazz Festival

Bulgaria International Fair of Arts and Crafts

Another festival is Bulgaria International Fair of Arts and Crafts held during the entire month of August in Varna. You definitely won’t miss it if you go for a walk in Central Park.

Bulgaria International Fair of Arts and Crafts in Varna
Bulgaria International Fair of Arts and Crafts in Varna

Sand Sculpture Festival in Burgas, Bulgaria

Furthermore, we continue to explore the Black Sea Coast and arrive in Burgas – the second big city of the Bulgarian Seaside. One of the main attractions in Burgas is the Sand Sculpture Festival. This event became very popular over the last few years and attracts a lot of visitors. Hence, I visit this festival almost every year. If you go to Varna, you can easily do a day-trip to Burgas. The trip is only two hours by bus.

Bulgaria International Fair of Arts and Crafts in Varna
Sand Sculpture Festival in Burgas

Bulgarian National Costume Festival of Zheravna

Besides, a traditional get-together is the Bulgarian National Costume Festival of Zheravna. Most noteworthy, you can marvel at the magical colours of the Bulgarian “Nosia” from all the regions of the country.

Bulgarian National Costume Festival of Zheravna
Bulgarian National Costume Festival of Zheravna

Local festivals in the Silistra region

In the North of the country, in the village of Smiletz (close to Silistra) takes place a Watermelon jam Festival called Madjun (Bulgarian: “Маджун”). As watermelon jam is only produced in this region, the locals reunite to taste the new harvest as they call it.

Watermelon jam Festival Madjun in Silistra region
Watermelon jam Festival Madjun in Silistra region

Also, Silistra region hosts The International Children Dance Festival “Tomorrow’s peace begins with the friendships we create today”. This tradition started more than 20 years ago and dancing groups from all around the world participate in the competition.

International Children Dance Festival "Tomorrow's peace begins with the friendships we create today"
International Children Dance Festival “Tomorrow’s peace begins with the friendships we create today”

July morning

Finally, it’s time to celebrate “July morning” at the Seaside. It takes place on the night of the 1st of July and you can easily pack for it as the only thing you need is a beach/ bar/camping on the beach, friends, and beers. The idea is to party all night long and to watch the sunrise. Cool, eh?

July morning in Varna
July morning in Varna

Which festival does sound appealing to you? Share your experience of visiting a festival in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

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