The Bulgarian Rose Festival is a celebration of the Rose of Castile (officially Rosa Damascena). Its motif is not only the production of rose oil, but also honors the virtue of mercy and donation gathering for poor families, orphans, old people and people who suffer from tuberculosis.
Bulgaria is an amazing travel destination. The country is blessed with stunning natural beauty and an abundance of fascinating places to visit. Situated at the crossroads of the East and West, Bulgaria has been home to many civilizations -Thracians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Slavs, Bulgars, and Ottomans. The country is rich in tourist sights and historical artifacts, scattered through a relatively small and easily accessible territory.
In Bulgaria the Valley of the Roses is the heart of rose growing. Harvesting begins mid May and lasts for about three weeks. It is the country’s specific climate, a mild winter and a long warm spring, that gives the perfect combination of moisture and warmth for the breeding of roses. The Rose valley is surrounded by two mountains, which stop the cold winds in the wintertime and help create the specific climate. The combination of several factors makes this region a unique place for growing this sort of rose. The oil extracted from it is the best quality in the world. Therefore the Valley of Roses has become a centre of rose oil production for centuries.
During harvest blooms are picked by hand early in the morning when the aroma is strongest, and transported in small quantities to a distillery. Seedlings come from the Rose Research Institute at Kazanluk, which has developed several Damascena varieties suited to conditions in the valley. International buyers pay for the Bulgarian product with prices reaching Euro 4,000 a kilo.
The Rose Festival is one of the most remarkable events in Bulgaria dedicated to the beauty of flowers, to the spring and to the fragrance of the priceless Kazanlak rose. Every year, during the first weekend of June, a local community in Kazanlak organizes the annual Rose Festival. The first Rose Festival took place in 1903. Rose growers would dress models in the beautiful roses and parade them around in front of potential buyers, and so begun the tradition. The whole week is filled with different attractions every day. That week is also interesting, because there is a beauty pageant and on the last day of the celebrations the most beautiful girl in the city is chosen as the “Rose Queen”. As Rose Queen this girl represents the freshness and beauty of Rosa Damascena.
Fun Facts about The Bulgarian Rose Festival
- “Born” in Damascus, Syria, the Rosa Damascena was brought to Bulgarian lands during the 17th century – Bulgaria at the time was part of the Ottoman Empire.
- In honor of the special ties of friendship between the two countries, the Bulgarian Embassy in Hanoi and the Vietnam-Bulgaria Friendship Association sponsored the first-ever Bulgaria Rose Festival in Vietnam March 3-8, 2017 at the Thong Nhat (Reunification) Park in Hanoi.
- The first Friday of June is the official day of Kazanlak – a new “Rose Queen” is coronated.
- Kazanlak’s rose gardens are the largest rose gardens in the whole world.
- 3.5 tons of rose petals go into the making of one kilogram of rose oil.
- Bulgarian rose oil is used in space industry, as a greasing component in space equipment, due to its resistance to any temperature changes.
Editor’s note: The Bulgarian Rose Festival tempts your sights, your smell, and your fascination of history. Original World travels to Bulgaria May 29-June 5, 2018 and visit this international folklore festival. We would love to have you join us!.
View details: http://originalworld.com/Bulgaria-Small-Group-Tour/index.shtml