Thursday, 27 August 2015

7th – 10th August: Fun and fire in Koprivshtica

The 5-yearly festival was the reason, why I came back to Bulgaria this year, and inspired by the tasty reports from last time, 5 years ago, others came…Last time wild camping, this time in luxury fasion I shared a room with Olga and Karen:
Koprivstica is on a normal day already a pretty and historical town in the centre of Bulgaria, surrounded by mountains and hills.

One of our highlights we had on the first evening, before the festival, in THE first restaurant, when Orchestra Zornitsa, my favourite Bulgarian band played the whole eve and we enjoyed plenty of amazing food and knotted our feet with Bulgarian folk dances.

The next days we spent mostly up in the hills, strolling between the 8 festival stages and lots of folk dance performances. 

Some of the costumes were even for my taste extraordinary.

Good developments of the festival since last time is the fact that amongst the performers there were Roma people – the children’s dance groups was one of the best I have seen at the festival, and the Brass band one of the rare musical highlights.

This leads to the bad development: last time I saw many stunning performances, whilst this time they were alright. Also, I think the festival has tipped over from being a stunning folk extravaganza into becoming commercially explored, which is sad :-(

Unfortunately I had caught a really nasty cold there – whilst we had 35 degrees and bright sun all the time ! This here is not a Rakija drinking feast, but a ‘health ritual’ gurgling some local herbal medicine I had bought at the Witches’ stall with Bernard, who had to be fit for his solo in the eve.
Always on the Saturday evening, the stage in town is reserved for foreign Bulgarian Choirs – London Bulgarian Choir was and is the best !!! 
At night time they will perform the old ritual of fire dancing for the tourists, which by tradition should happen in June, and involves dancing on glowing coals. Unfortunately I never managed to see it due to the overwhelming crowds.
Sad it was to travel back to Sofia, where would on the next day distribute to various places, me Macedonia and the other girls back to London. 

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