THE FESTIVAL

the Festival


Surva, the International Festival of the Masquerade Games held in the town of Pernik is the biggest event of this type not only in Bulgaria but on the Balkan Peninsula as well. It promotes variations of ancient Bulgarian customs that are still alive today. 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 this tradition, namely the Kukeri and Survakari.
The Municipality of Pernik has been holding the festival ever since 1966. In 1985 the festival gained international-event status. In 1995 the International Federation of Carnival Cities accepted the town of Pernik as its full member. In June, 2009 Pernik was proclaimed as the European capital of Surva`s and Mumers.
The International Festival of the Masked games takes place the last weekend of January. Its most attractive feature is its two-day parade for masquerade companies from Bulgaria and abroad.
On average, around 6, 000 people or about 100 groups from every folklore region of Bulgaria, as well as companies from Europe, Asia, and Africa take part in the contest.
The contestants come here to win, to experience the atmosphere, to have fun and, of course, to get the recognition that they have been a part of it all.
The citizens of Pernik and visitors from other parts of Bulgaria and abroad come to watch the show so they can be part of the magic. They want to see the masks in person, they want to touch them for good luck and good health and feel rejuvenated and energized when they leave.

The festival Surva

You will be touched by the magic of the masquerade tradition that still survives in the region of Pernik. Everything here is for real!
You will surrender to the appeal of Bulgarian folklore reinforced with healthy helpings of food and drinks. You will feel the creative presence of generations of exponents of the tradition.
An incandescent fiery spectacle, bonfires and light shows will envelop you in the festivalТs mystery.
For two whole days groups from the country and abroad will show you their unique traditions, masks and costumes in the town square and the streets of Pernik.
Visiting groups from Europe and the rest of the world will present a colorful multitude of customs, songs and dances.
The participants and the audience can interact freely along the parade routes and on the improvised stages arranged throughout the town.
Interesting outdoor exhibitions will be arranged at various places in Pernik.
Well stocked gift shops will allow you not only to admire traditional Bulgarian arts and crafts but also to get yourselves one-of-a-kind souvenirs.

WeТll have fun together!

HISTORY

The festival held in Pernik is the oldest festival of the masquerade games in Bulgaria. The official resolution to hold it for the first time was made in 1965 and the first edition was opened on January 16, 1966.

16. 01. 1966

Winter Carnival Ц only groups from the region of Pernik take part.

800 participants


15. 01. 1967

Second National Festival of the Kukeri and Survakari and the Spring Song and Dance Related to these Ancient Customs Ц Pernik `67: groups from various parts of the country attend.

Over 1300 participants


19. 01. 1969

Third National Festival of the Kukeri and Survakari and the Spring Song and Dance Related to these Ancient Customs Ц Pernik `69.

Over 1400 participants


17. 01. 1971

Fourth National Festival of the Kukeri and Survakari and the Spring Song and Dance Related to these Ancient Customs Ц Pernik `71

Over 1300 participants


20. 01. 1974

Fifth National Festival of the Kukeri and Survakari and the Spring Song and Dance Related to these Ancient Customs Ц Pernik `74

Over 2000 participants


16 - 17. 01.1977

Sixth National Festival of the Kukeri and Survakari and the Spring Song and Dance Related to these Ancient Customs Ц Pernik `77

Over 2000 participants


27 - 28. 01.1980

Seventh National Festival of the Kukeri and Survakari Ц Pernik `80

Over 3000 participants


19 - 21. 01.1985

Eight National Festival of the Kukeri and Survakari Ц Pernik `85. Groups from foreign countries attended the festival for the first time in its history.

2800 participants


20 - 22. 01. 1990

Ninth Festival of the Kukeri and Survakari from Bulgaria and Abroad Ц Pernik `90

3100 participants


4 - 8.02. 1993

Tenth Jubilee Edition of the International Folklore Festival of the Masquerade/Surva Winter Games and Kukeri Pre-Spring Games and Customs Ц Pernik `93

2000 participants


19 - 22. 01. 1996

Eleventh International Folklore Festival of the Masquerade/Surva Winter Games and Kukeri Pre-Spring Games and Customs Ц Pernik `96Ф

3000 participants


22 - 25. 01. 1998

Twelfth International Folklore Festival of the Masquerade Games Pernik `98

3000 participants


21 - 23. 01. 2000

Surva, Thirteenth International Festival of the Masquerade Games Ц Pernik С2000

Over 3500 participants


18 - 20. 01. 2002

Surva, Fourteenth International Festival of the Masquerade Games Ц Pernik С2002

5056 participants


23 - 25.01. 2004

Surva, Fifteenth International Festival of the Masquerade Games Ц Pernik С2004

5250 participants


27 - 29.01.2006

Surva, Sixteenth International Festival of the Masquerade Games Ц Pernik С2006

4848 participants


25 - 27.01.2008

Surva, Seventeen International Festival of the Masquerade Games Ц Pernik С2008

5808 participants


23 - 25.01.2009

Surva, Eighteen International Festival of the Masquerade Games Ц Pernik С2009

5089 participants


29 - 31.01.2010

Surva, XIX International Festival of the Masquerade Games Ц Pernik С2010

6000 participants


28-30.01.2011

Surva, XX International Festival of the Masquerade Games Ц Pernik С2011

6104 participants


27-29.01.2012

Surva, XXI International Festival of the Masquerade Games Ц Pernik С2012

6255 participants


28-30.01.2013

Surva, XXII International Festival of the Masquerade Games Ц Pernik С2013

6142 participants


27-29.01.2014

Surva, XXIII International Festival of the Masquerade Games Ц Pernik С2014

6379 participants


30.01 - 01.02.2015

Surva, XXIV International Festival of the Masquerade Games Ц Pernik С2015

Over 5300 participants


29.01 - 31.01.2016

Surva, XXV Jubilee International Festival of the Masquerade Games Ц Pernik С2016

6500 participants



  
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