The Mummers traditional rite in Bulgaria is held every year where more than 5000 people from all over the country, including guests from different parts of Europe, Asia and Africa, take part in this ancient Thracian tradition. During the days of the rite, many people dress up in costumes and masks that they have created following specific rituals. What is notable is that the costumes and masks are required to be scary, where some even have a lot of bells attached to them. A legend tells that when the mummers dance in these scary costumes and masks, they scare away the evil spirits and honour the Thracian god of merriment, Dionysos. The rite signifies a passage from the cold winter months to the fertile and warm spring and summer months.


Surva, also known as the International Festival of the Masquerade Games, is a one-of-a-kind event that takes place in Pernik, Bulgaria, every January. With roots dating back to pagan times, Surva is a cherished celebration of Bulgarian heritage, attracting visitors from all over the world to witness the spectacle.

One of the highlights of Surva is the mesmerizing Kukeri parade, where hundreds of participants, known as Kukeri, clad in colorful costumes and massive masks, stomp and dance to chase away evil spirits and bring good luck for the year ahead. The Kukeri performances are a sight to behold, with their elaborate attire, jingling bells, and rhythmic movements creating an otherworldly experience that will leave you breathless.