“Rozhen 2015” – an Innovative Cultural Event

4 Jun 2015

The first edition of the National Festival of Folklore and Livestock Breeding “Rozhen” was presented at a special press conference in BTA on June 4.The innovative cultural event, a successor of the National Folklore Fest “Rozhen” is organized by the Association “Rozhen – Our Heritage in the Future” and the Municipality of Smolyan, in partnership with the Municipality of Chepelare and in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture. It will be under the patronage of the President of Bulgaria Mr. Rossen Plevneliev.
Simeon Karakolev – Executive Director of the Association “Rozhen – Our Heritage in the future” expressed the concept to bring this festival back to live and to shape it under a whole new format. The National Folklore and Livestock Breeding Festival “Rozhen” 2015 will be a fine combination of ethnoculture with livestock breeding aspects, the latter being a traditional occupation and the foundation of traditional culture, folklore, crafts and the respective shares of Bulgarian economy. Mr. Karakolev stated that the official opening of this large-scale cultural event will include impressive décor of the Bulgarian tricolor flag, with the impressive size of 5400 square meters (300 m long and 18 m wide). Simeon Karakolev also noted that the goal of this year’s festival in Rozhen is not merely to set records, but to be the very manifestation of Bulgarian spirit and culture.
The press conference was also attended by Nikolay Melemov – Mayor of Smolyan, the actor Vasil Mihaylov – the voice of Rozhen 2015 and Valya Balkanska, together with the famous bagpiper Peter Yanev. They brought all visitors together at the Rozhen meadows and helped them experience the magic of the Rhodope mountains with their wonderful performances of the following songs: “Abre yunache Kamatnata” and “Adno se ludo izruka.” During the press conference it became clear that in the three days of Rozhen 3 whole sets of scenes will hold the National Folklore Competition for singing, instrumentals, folk dances, customs and oral folklore from all ethnographic regions of the country. So far about 3,000 singers, musicians, dancers and smooth-tongued speakers , along with 190 groups and 140 ensembles and individual performers from the Rhodope and the Pirin Mountains, from the Dobrudzha, Thracian and Shop regions and many more have submitted their application for participation. Applications can be submitted until June 15.
Colorful mobile museum exhibitions of art works will also be present, illustrating livestock breeding of our country, the history of the Rozhen Festival and the ethnographic gatherings of the region. Different kinds of traditional crafts, local customary dishes and casseroles will be demonstrated, as well.Visitors of the Festival will be able to see pure-bred sheep, goats, dogs, cows and buffalo, dairy and meat products from the farm, as well as special agricultural machinery and equipment.The program of the event includes farmer competitions in milking and shearing, in towing heavy loads by horses, in master lamb-boning, wrestling and dog reviews. Rozhen’s local school “Bagatur” will demonstrate horse riding and fighting skills and the network “Bakery houses” will show the so called “Theatre of crumbs”. Uti Bachvarov will prepare the largest Rhodopian boiled mutton at the spot. The evening will end with spectacular concerts, performances by dancers on live coals and other folk festivities.
For the first time the Rozhen Festival will become a stage for a special fashion review of authentic national costumes from all over Bulgaria. Organizers are also occupied with the preparation of a national photography competition “Rozhen – Our heritage in the Future,” as there will be a special category for children who would like to participate. It has been estimated that the National Folklore and Livestock Breeding Festival “Rozhen” will be attended by over 350,000 people. In this regard, Mr. Simeon Karakolev provided some additional information on the organization and in particular, how to ensure the safety of all participants and visitors; necessary medical posts will be available, along with water equipment, field sinks, toilets and the conditions for building camp tents, equipped with bathrooms. There will be some restrictions when it comes to traffic and separate parking areas, as security will be asigned in order to assure the order and the safety of the festival.

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