Put on your masks and gather your friends. Today, we’re going to tell you about Surva, the special masquerade festival in the lovely country of Bulgaria. Also known as the International Festival of the Masquerade Games, the sheer largeness of this event is noteworthy!
On the last weekend of January, Surva is celebrated with dramatic parades and performances in Pernik in an attempt to shoo away evil spirits. Well, the festival is more of a contest. What’s the contest about? Dressing up in the most bizarre costumes and masks and giving your best performance. The best part? There’s no winner or loser here.
Men’s costumes and masks depict the devil. They wear large outfits of fur or wool to show the relationship between nature and man. The women wear lighter costumes consisting of long skirts, flowers in the hair, and traditional footwear made of leather.
Everyone’s in a good mood during this time. There’s energetic dancing, and skits showing battles between the good and bad, and at night, lit torches are carried to drive away evil spirits and bring in good luck.
The main act of Surva is the precious tap. Participants lightly tap attendees on the back with a little tree branch adorned with cotton ornaments, coins, colorful strings, and flowers. Receivers of the tap then reward their ‘tappers’ with coins in exchange. The festival ends with scrumptious food and drinks.