Folk Festivals

Explore the Folk Festivals in Bulgaria

Bulgaria has a long tradition of folk festivals – and when you visit for yourself, I’ll be delighted to give you a tour of some of the most exciting, colorful celebrations around the country! From song and dance through to food and music festivals… your first visit to a traditional festival in Bulgaria is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

There are hundreds of different festivals held around Bulgaria every year and season. Each of the country’s seven folklore regions boasts its own festivals, its own customs, its costumes and traditions. You could join me for one of the International Folk Dance Festivals 2015 or we could visit any of a range of other celebrations. With dance groups, dramatic ensembles, traditional cookery and choirs, Bulgaria offers some of the most fascinating folk festivals in Europe!

To start planning your visit to one of the many Bulgarian festivals, just send me a message. I’ll let you know what’s happening, and when. All of my tours are fully customisable, so I’ll be happy to pick you up from any city in the country… and give you a unique introduction to Bulgaria’s folk traditions.

Get in touch now, and prepare to enjoy the magic of traditional folk festivals in Bulgaria!

Visit the traditional folk festivals as a single day trip or as part of your multi-day tour around Bulgaria or the Balkans! Just tell me what you want to see and I will show it to you.


More about the Folk Festivals in Bulgaria

The list of Bulgarian folk festivals is abundant, featuring both large ones and festivals in individual towns and villages. Bulgarian cuisine there is also high on the agenda, so everyone is certain to sample local dishes.

The Koprivshtitsa national folklore festival gathers dance and singing ensembles from far and wide. Held once every five years in the Voyvodenets locality nearby, it invites contestants to show off the folklore of their region. Folk tales are recounted and folk customs are presented. Foreign contestants eager to show their knowledge of Bulgarian folklore are attracted, too.

Another impressive event is the Rozhen folk festival, in the Rhodopes, held once every four years, in the summer. It was there that in 1961 the “Delyo Haydutin” song, now sounding in space as a symbol of human artistic achievements, was sung by Valya Balkanska, an eminent Bulgarian folk singer. The bagpipers group is a staple for the event. On the first day, in the evening, a gala spectacle is a must to attend.

The Predela locality, between Rila and Pirin, is the venue for the “Pirin Sings” folk festival. Unique songs sung by men, concerts of folk singers and folk dance ensemble performances make up the rich agenda of the event held each even year. Folk rituals and crafts are featured, as well as Bulgarian embroidery.

In the heart of the Rhodopes, in the Gela village near Smolyan, the festival of authentic folklore of the Rhodopes region is the highlight. Bagpipe and folklore performers flock not only from Bulgaria. Foreign performers also demonstrate skills in Bulgarian folklore. All ages are invited, the youngest so far being just 5, and the oldest 85 years old.

The Zheravna Festival in the Balkans shows off national costumes in the festival in Dobromeritsa park. Folk dances and songs are also plentiful. Professional ensembles and amateurs participate with equal eagerness. The requirement for participants is to wear a national costume, authentic or stylized. People who do not have their own costumes can rent some at the festival venue.

The Strandzha mountain region is unique in nature and folklore alike. The Petrova Niva locality festival is an annual event in the Malko Turnovo region. There is a folklore program in the morning and an evening concert. The nestinari dance events are unique, as dances are performed on live coals. They are believed to have stemmed from the Thracian cult of the sun. They are typical of the Strandzha region, the Bulgari village, and feature on UNESCO’s list of non-material cultural heritage. Icons are brought out, followed by a procession. The live coal area preparation starts in the morning. At dusk, having said prayers, dancers start their walking on the coals, and then perform a folk dance.

Bulgaria is also famous with its international folk dance festivals held all year in different areas in the country. During those event many dance ensembles represents their traditional costumes, music and songs.