Surva - Festival of masquerade games in Bulgaria

Event or Heritage: 
Each year on the last weekend of January the citizens of the Bulgarian town Pernik celebrate Surva. It is the oldest festival of the masquerade games in Bulgaria and the biggest event of its kind on the Balkan Peninsula. The first Surva was celebrated on January 16, 1966 and the festival gained international-event status in 1985. Ten years later the International Federation of Carnival Cities enlisted the town of Pernik as its full member. The masquerade rituals come from old pagan times and are still alive in the Bulgarian folklore tradition. The Festival promotes variations of ancient Bulgarian customs. These are an important part of the Bulgarian folklore tradition and are meant to be performed by single men and women. With its competitive nature, the festival is not only a venue but also a contest for the living vessels of the tradition, namely the Kukeri and Survakari. Around 6,000 people or about 100 groups from every folklore region of Bulgaria, as well as groups from Europe, Asia, and Africa take part in the contest – not only to win but to experience the atmosphere and to have fun.
Start date: 
Sat, 01/28/2017
End date: 
Sun, 01/29/2017
Silk Road key areas of work: 
Marketing and Promotion
Type of activity: 
Estimated outreach/impact of your activity: 
Around 6,000 people or about 100 groups from Bulgaria, as well as from Europe, Asia, and Africa take part in the Surva Festival.
Name of the Organization: 
Municipal Administration of Pernik, Bulgaria
Type of the Organizer: 
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1A St. Ivan Rilski Sq
Pernik 2300
42° 36' 15.4188" N, 23° 2' 12.426" E