Rozhen Folklore Fair Begins Near Bulgaria's Smolyan
The traditional festival of folklore and livestock breeding, held on the meadows in the area of Rozhen near the town of Smolyan in the Rhodope mountains, began on Friday.
More than 5 000 folklore performers from across the country are expected to take part in the festival which will last until Sunday.
The programme of the fair includes folklore performances, exhibitions of national and regional museums, ethnographic collections, demonstration of crafts, national costumes and dresses, culinary shows, exhibition of meat and dairy products, horse races, children workshops and many more.
In order to ease traffic a transport scheme with alternative routes through Laki, Banite, Devin and the area of Rozhen has been devised as well as special routes for public transport to avoid traffic jams.
The festival aims to establish itself as the largest forum of Bulgarian spirit, traditions and folklore.
The fair, which traces its roots back to 1898, was restored and renewed last year after nine-year pause. In 2015, it was visited by more than 350 000 people.
A large Bulgarian flag measuring 26 x 300 metres is stretched across the meadows and covers an area of 7800 square metres.
More than 400 ensembles from across the country will perform folklore music, customs and dances on four stages.
Among the participants will be the most prominent singer of the Rhodopes, Valya Balkanska, accompanied by the traditional bagpipe players.
Parliament Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva unveiled the festival on Friday.
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