This year's Surva Festival of Masquerade Games takes place from January 24 to 26
The International Festival of Masquerade Games -Surva - in the town of Pernik is the most prestigious event of traditional games and customs with masks in Bulgaria. They are related to the upcoming awakening of nature and incorporate wishes for rich harvest, health and fertility. Young men perform special steps and movements and wear impressive masks as villages and towns resound with the echo of hundreds of bells, invoked chanting and blessings.
The Surva International Festival of Masquerade Games in Pernik is held every year over the last weekend of January. Traditionally the festival competition involves over 6,000 people in about 100 masquerade groups from all ethnographic regions of Bulgaria and guests from Europe, Asia and Africa.
Pernik is a member of the Federation of European Carnival Cities, which in 2009 declared it European Capital of Survakari and Mummer’s Traditions. The folk custom “Surva” is among the candidates for the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.