This year, the biggest event of the Masquerade Games in Bulgaria and on the Balkans – the 26th edition of Surva International Festival of the Masquerade Games, will be held in the town of Pernik from 26th to 28th of January. This year, around 6000 kukeri (mummers) from more than 100 masquerade groups will participate in the festival procession. People from all ethnographic regions of Bulgaria as well as international guests from Europe, Africa and Asia will take part in the festival.
Accompanied by the sounds of bells, bagpipes, drums, and cow-bells the colorful kukeri will chase away the evil spirits, mark the beginning of the New Year and the triumph of the creative human energy, and will express their hope for a more fertile and healthier year. The Festival takes place in the town of Pernik, which is situated only 36.58 kilometers southwest of the Bulgarian capital. You can reach it by catching a train from the Central Railway Station in Sofia: http://razpisanie.bdz.bg/SearchServlet?action=listOptions
In 2015 the Festival was included in the list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity because some of the Bulgarian folk traditions are kept alive today and are passed down from generation to generation. In 1995 Pernik became a member of the Federation of European Carnival Cities.