Masquerade Festival Pernik - When & Where The Masquerade Festival Pernik takes place in late January in Pernik in Bulgaria. In 2011 the dates were January 28-31st. Also known as Surva, the International Festival of the Masquerade Games.
What to expect The festival is both a competition of costume and dance and a popular carnival. Thousands of participants from up to 90 traditional Bulgarian groups take part from Bulgaria and around the world. They dress in hides or in traditional rural costumes and dance in competitions. During the festival, the Kukeri form processions through the town wearing their fantastic masks whilst kicking up a terrific din of shouting, bells, rattles and anything that makes a noise. They are re-enacting an ancient rite, chasing away evil and celebrating new life with the ending of Winter and the hopes for a successful harvest in the coming year.
The Bulgarian was formally organised in 1966. In 1985 the festival gained international-event status. In 1995 the International Federation of Carnival Cities accepted the town of Pernik as its full member. In June, 2009 Pernik was proclaimed as the European capital of Surva`s and Mumers.