BTA News

Gabrovo’s Traditional Carnival Fills Streets with over 25 Large-Scale Models, Calls for Peace

This year’s edition of the traditional carnival in Gabrovo filled the streets with over 70 scenes and more than 25 large-scale models on Saturday evening. In the course of two hours, over 2,000 participants marched in downtown Gabrovo under the motto, “Make Carnival, Not War”. Hundreds of local residents and guests of the city watched the carnival parade.

Gabrovo’s carnival parades in May are a continuation of the so-called Oleliynya from the 1930s, where people celebrated outdoors. Oleliynya was related to the presentation of the young brides who had gotten married in winter.

The carnival parades are organized by Gabrovo Municipality. The preparations take several months, during which painters, artists, seamstresses, and volunteers create at a carnival workshop large-scale models of Bulgarian and foreign politicians, famous persons, local figures from the past. The two- to three-meter models are all humourous.

Gabrovo Mayor Tanya Hristova, who was dressed like Helen of Troy, said the goal is to have peace, not war. “I hope that the Gabrovo Carnival will be a small example of that. I believe that my character fits perfectly in the whole picture of our peaceful concept. Let everyone have fun, and let the Gabrovo Carnival be held for at least 100 more years,” she said.

The carnival day began with a children’s parade with the participation of hundreds of children from the local kindergartens, accompanied by their teachers. Each group had prepared their own scene to display. A national carnival – cat review was also held, paying homage to what has become one of Gabrovo’s symbol: the black cat.