Hundreds of bagpipes will sound in the Rhodope mountains near the village of Gela

The tradition to hold a bagpipe competition and celebration in the Rhodope village of Gela will be held again during the first weekend of August. The family tradition of gathering together and celebrating Ilinden in the meadows near the village dates back more than 100 years ago. The event is reborn and has become popular for Bulgarian and foreign tourists during the past 2 decades.


Traditionally, performers from different age groups will perform with the popular Rhodopean caba bagpipe. Ladies and children up to 14 years of age will have to perform a musical work of choice within 5 minutes. The next group up to 20 years must present a fast and slow melody lasting 6 minutes. The age group over 21 will also compete with a slow and fast melody up to 7 minutes.

So far the youngest participant in the competition has been 5 years old and the oldest – 85 years. You can also get your first lessons in playing the bagpipe at the event. However, you can buy traditional Bulgarian products, drinks and food as well as listening to the folklore masterpieces. The opening of the bagpipes’ event is scheduled for 10.30 am on August 4th.

The contest program will start at 11 am and the masters of the extraordinary Rhodope sound will be awarded at 6 pm. The evening will continue with a concert program and folk dances. On August 5, at 11.30 am, the family meeting will be opened, and the people’s fun will continue under the rhythm of the bagpipes and the flavour of the barbecued. The hotels in the area are already occupied, but if you want to join, you can still stretch your tent on the wide Rhodope meadows.

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My greatest pleasure in life is to travel. Undoubtedly there are a lot of amazing places around the world worth visiting at least once in life. However, Bulgaria is such a place where you will wish to come back again and again. In every season and every region of this small country, you can find unique wonders. So share my travels.