On 18th, 19th and 20th of August, the most popular Bulgarian festival of traditional costumes will be held in Zheravna. If you decide to go back a century or two in the past you should forget all the benefits of the present and wear a traditional Bulgarian costume. Otherwise, you can not cross the entrance to the festival.
It is forbidden to use sunglasses, cameras, modern ladies handbags, modern hats, and you can call the phone only from a specially designated area. The festival does not allow pets as well. The photo memories of the festival are only allowed on the last Sunday.
The festival in Zheravna will start at 5 p.m. on Friday, and during the first three hours of it, the guests will be able to explore the festival area, travel to the past and become accustomed to their voluntary renunciation of most of the comforts of modern civilization. At 8 p.m. is the official opening. Then will be announced once again the program and the regulation of the event and will be awarded the annual award “Apostle of Bulgarianness”. This is followed by the folk dance performance “We, the Bulgarians” of the ensemble “Chinari”.
At 09.20 p.m., the 140th anniversary of the Shipka Epopee will be celebrated with the show “Oh Shipka!”. There followed the folk music with various musicians such as “100 Kaba Gaddy”, led by Todor Dufafarev, Petrich group, directed by Mihto, Thracian orchestra “Gergyovden”, directed by Vasil Denev and Etropole Orchestra. The evening will end with the unique performances of the clarinet king Ivo Papazov-Ibryama.
On the second day, August 19, the festival starts at 10 a.m., and the fun begins half an hour later. The audience will rejoice again 100 Kaba Gaddy, Petrich, Gergyovden and Etroploe Orchestras. At 11.30 a.m. a traditional Bulgarian wedding will be recreated. If you want to learn the steps of the traditional folk dance horo, attend the presentation of clubs, schools and dance groups for Bulgarian folk dances.
At 2 p.m., new participants will be admitted to the “Guardians of Bulgarianness” Association. Following are the grills and a competition for authentic and styled female, male and children costumes with a guaranteed prize fund. In order to participate in the competition, you must sign up in advance the same day from 1 p.m. From 03.30 p.m. onward continues the presentation of clubs and dance groups. There is a free program, and from 06.30 p.m. start wrestlings.
From 07.30 p.m., dancers will compete for a guaranteed prize, and pre-enrollment is from 6 p.m. From 08.30 p.m. you can enjoy a concert of Ansanballe for folk songs and dances “Sliven” and from 9 p.m. you can see the performances of a soloist of ensemble “Bulgare” Albena Veskova. The program continues with the folk singer Rossitsa Peycheva and the Ethnarithm dance group, fire-dancing games and the Orpheus orchestra with leader Georgi Yanev.
On the last Sunday of August 20th, the public fun will last from 10 a.m. to 12 o’clock, after which the festival in Zheravna will be officially closed. Until 5 p.m., however, everyone can enter free in the festival area and without the obligatory costumes, and from the morning photos are allowed. Throughout the festival, you can see traditional Bulgarian crafts and buy from the works of the masters presented. The ticket price for the three festival days is 25 leva or approximately 12,5 euro, for children from 7 to 10 years – 10 leva /5 euro/, and for the youngest the entrance is free.