Bulgaria’s Rose Festivals and Festival Celebrations
Bulgaria’s Rose Festivals and festival celebrations are popular all over the world. Rose Festival in Kazanlak has a history of more than a century. It was founded in 1903. Since then, it gained popularity all over the world.
Several villages in the Rose Valley organize local festivals. The oldest one is the one in Kazanlak. Karlovo is the second village to attract guests for a local Rose Festival. Karlovo Rose Festival takes place usually one week prior to the festival in Kazanlak. And Pavel Banya and Strelcha also hold local Rose Festival. In fact, all local Rose festivals are worth a visit – annually, between May 25 and June 7.
Local people love Rose Festivals. It’s their festival – colourful, full of aroma and smiling faces. In other word – it’s time to celebrate, once the hard work is done.
Three main events of the Bulgaria’s Rose festival deserve a visit. The climax of the festival in on Sunday in Kazanlak. It is the day of Queen Rose’s elections. Early morning harvesting ritual in the rose fields starts at sunrise. Then, the electing of Queen Rose follows. Her Majesty the Queen Rose leads the parade. The processions and the celebrations last for two days. And festival parade takes place along the main streets.
Colourful cultural events add value to the festival’s weekend. Certainly, guests enjoy the variety – choir a cappella or folklore concerts, art shows, local wine presentations, wine-tasting sessions.
Bulgaria’s Rose Festivals and Rosa Damascena Bush
In fact, Rose Damascena is the name of the oil-yielding rose. And Rosa Damascena made Bulgaria famous for production of the best rose attar in the world. Rosa Damascena mill was brought to Bulgarian lands during the 17th century. Bulgaria then was part of the Ottoman Empire. This full of aroma rose bush found a second home in Bulgaria. It gave its name to a whole region – The Rose valley of Bulgaria. Two mountain ranges surround the valley. They stop the cold winds in the wintertime and help create a specific climate. The combination of several factors makes this region a unique place for growing this rose variety. The oil extracted from it is the best quality in the world. Therefore, the Valley of Roses became a centre of rose oil production and export for centuries.
Roses Booming Season
The rose bushes flower for about 25 days a year, from mid-May to mid-June. The blooms require hand-picking early in the morning. The aroma is strongest before sunset. Then rose petals are transported in small quantities to the distillery. Seedlings come from the Rose Research Institute at Kazanlak, which has developed several Damascena rose varieties suited to conditions in the valley.
In short, Bulgaria’s Rose Festivals and the fame of the Bulgarian oil-yielding rose attract numerous visitors from all parts of the world. Guests from Japan, Taiwan and France are among the most devoted fans. Therefore, Rosa Damascena blooming season is one of the best periods to visit Bulgaria.