BTA News

Surva Masquerade Festival Opens in Pernik

A record number of participants will present their traditions and customs at the 30th edition of the Surva International Festival of Masquerade Games (IFMG), which opens Friday night in Pernik, Western Bulgaria. The competition will also start on Friday. More than 10,000 participants, including 17 foreign masquerade groups, are expected to be guests at the event, which will last until Sunday.

On Friday morning a conference on the masquerade and the local community will open at the Regional History Museum. Later, creative workshops and masquerade workshops for children will open at the Municipal Youth Home.

On Friday a youth parade, Survakaryada, will take place, in which 1,100 students from the schools in Pernik will participate. At noon, the competition will start with masquerade groups from all over the country. At the same time, a traditional joint exhibition of artists from Pernik – “Surva Art” – will be presented at the Krakra Gallery.

The official opening ceremony of the festival will be at 6 pm on Fridays.

During the three days of the festival, guests can also visit the only Balkan Underground Mining Museum, which was built in the first mining galleries in Bulgaria and the medieval Pernik Fortress.

The Surva Festival in Pernik has over 57 years of history and is the largest masquerade forum in the Balkans. It has been organized by the Municipality of Pernik since 1966, and in 2015 the Surova custom, characteristic of Midwestern Bulgaria, was included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

In 1985 the festival gained international-event status. In 1995 the International Federation of Carnival Cities accepted the town of Pernik as its full member and in June 2009 Pernik was proclaimed as the European capital of Surva’s and Mumers.

The festival is financially supported by the Ministry of Culture and BTA is one of its main media partners.

Three consecutive editions of the Surva Festival, in 2020, 2021 and 2022, were cancelled over a water shortage in Pernik and the COVID pandemic.