Jeravna, Bulgaria- International Festival of folk costumes 2019.
This was the 12th year this festival has gathered thousands of enthusiasts from all over Bulgaria, Europe and beyond, for a memorable weekend in August. The rules were strict- on the territory of the festival during these 3 days, you are to enjoy the traditions of our ancestors and under no circumstances you can import or use any contemporary items, like phones, watches, plastic, etc.
The festival offered a colorful display of traditional costumes and dishes, while the 8-hour program included interactive performance of folk groups from various regions of Bulgaria. The onlookers had the chance to join the traditional “horo”- a Bulgarian folk dance, where men and women of all ages link arms together in a dynamic quick step dance. From a distance, it seemed like the easiest thing, but this horo soon turned into an intense cardio and while barely keeping up with it, I couldn’t help but wonder how our ancestors managed this exercise after a long day working on their farms.
At night time, a joyful bonfire gathered the dance enthusiasts, who kept going till the wee hours of the morning. The festival, in the spirit of a true international fiesta, was attended by fans from all over the world- they too had to wear their own folk dress and bring the tradition of their mother land.
It was refreshing to stay away from our phones for hours and days, enjoy the real food of those days, when life was simpler, but rewarding, where people worked hard, but knew how to have fun together as well.
This was truly an amazing experience, I can not wait for next year!