Since 2007 a festival unique in its atmosphere and spirit has been held in Zheravna. The location is not chosen by chance – Zheravna in the Municipality of Kotel is a village declared as an architectural reserve, keeping authentic houses with typical Bulgarian Renaissance atmosphere.
At the Festival of Ancient Costumes thousands of people from all parts of Bulgaria come together to have fun, sing, play and dance – the way their forefathers did 100-150 years earlier. The one thing they all have in common is that they are all dressed in folk costumes (authentic, made for the stage or by old masters, or tailored specifically for them in accordance with the individual taste and size). At this festival there is no audience. All people present are participants in an authentic experience that cannot be compared with anything else. A sign at the entrance warns that “Bad mood and entry without a national costume are prohibited”.
If you come here in August, you may taste barbecue (known here as cheverme), fresh cheeses and flat sausages (sudzhuk), hot round breads and buns while drinking sparkling wine and brandy, to enjoy the Rhodope bagpipes and Macedonian zurna, to watch wrestling, mummers and masquerade games. You will hold your breath while watching the fire dancers. You will have a chance to get in touch with the old masters and crafts ... All one has to do is to be dressed in a folk costume. And if you have none! Don’t worry! The organizers will provide one for you in the name of the authentic atmosphere.
But be aware! There are certain mandatory rules for “the travelers” with this “time machine”.
- Forbidden is the use of any kinds of cameras. Photographers will be at the disposal of the guests to take pictures or accept orders for DVDs to be recorded.
- Forbidden is the use of mobile telephones except in the places designated for this purpose.
- Forbidden is the use of modern blankets and rugs. There will be rugs and mats on sale or to be hired. Do not expect any tables and chairs! Instead hand woven rag rugs, mats and goat’s hair rugs will be provided. There will be no forks and napkins. The spoons will be wooden.
In the near vicinity of the festival grounds there will be a place to camp provided with chemical WCs, water and electricity. The tent camp is free. But if you wish otherwise, there is an option to find accommodation in one of the numerous Renaissance guest houses in the village of Zheravna.
Information about Zheravna: