Gela Bagpipe Contest to Take Place This Weekend
The traditional Rhodope bagpipe (kaba gaida) contest in Bulgaria's village of Gela will take place on August 2 and 3.
This would be the 11-th year of the festival, which takes place in the first weekend of August in celebration of St. Ilia, near the St. Ilia chapel above the village in the heart of the Rhodope mountains.
The festival includes international bagpipe contests, which start in the morning and continue through the night, as long as there are contestants, fair, traditionally roasted lambs on a spit and folklore dances.
The contestants can sign up in advance or at the spot and are split in three age groups – up to 14 years of age, age 15-20 and above 21. Except for the youngest, the contestants must play two tunes – a slow and a fast one.
Each year the festival attracts between 8000 and 12 000 visitors from Bulgaria and abroad.