The Ultimate Secret Guide To Rose Festival In Bulgaria: Love Stories Myths, Secret Facts, Useful Tips And Latest Updates

Rose Festival in Bulgaria is one of the most exciting festivals of the rose in the world. Thousands of visitors travel to the Rose Valley in Bulgaria to discover the hidden mystery behind the celebration of the rose. It’s a rare opportunity to visit, as the Rose Festival in Bulgaria takes place only once per year at the beginning of summer. Not only that, but the festival of the roses includes authentic rituals and events such as rose-picking, rose parade, rose queen ceremony and kukeri show.

As the star of the celebration is the Rose Queen 2019 and all predecessors.

Want to visit the Rose Festival in Bulgaria? This article will provide all you need to have a fantastic rose festival journey in Bulgaria.

Read about Kazanlak Bulgaria Rose Festival, Karlovo Rose Festival, the latest updates for rose festival 2021 dates, secret places to visit and many more.   

The Rose Queen, Her Love and the Bulgarian Festival of Roses

There are many legends on how the Valley of the Roses was created and how these beautiful flowers found a home in Bulgaria. One of the most enchanting ones is that there was a princess in a faraway land. She was very beautiful but very sad. Her father decided to build a beautiful palace to make her happy. That’s why he asked a foreign man to do that. As a gift, the father promised him the princess for a wife.

The palace was built but the father did not keep his promise. Instead, he decided to kill the man. The princess fell madly in love with him during the time the foreigner was building the palace. They met every night in a garden full of roses. Once she knew about her father’s intentions, she decided to help her beloved’s escape. She gave him a white rose as a symbol of her love.

The end…

The man succeeded to escape back to his country, Bulgaria. To keep the rose alive, he cut a wound to his chest. The man carried out the flower there. By the time he arrived, the rose petals turned red as his blood. The man found a beautiful valley next to his home. He planted the rose there. This is how the famous Rose Valley in Bulgaria came alive.

Rose Queen and her prince walking around the centre of Kazanlak, Bulgaria
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Rose Queen and her prince walking around the centre of Kazanlak

Although it is just a story, one thing is certain, the valley of the roses is an enchanting place.

Moreover, Bulgarian rose is one of the most beautiful kinds of roses. Not accidentally, many calls the rose the “Queen of Flowers”. People from different cultures and beliefs around the world love its beauty and aroma.

The Rose Valley

The Bulgarian Rose Valley is located in one of the most alluring regions of the country. The roses grow around the towns of Kazanlak, Karlovo, Pavel Banya and Strelcha.

Furthermore, they are used for producing the famous Bulgarian rose oil. An interesting fact is that for producing one kilogram of oil three tones of roses are needed.

The oil is widely used in perfumery. Not only that but it has indisputable healing properties. The rose oil also harmonizes the mind, soothes, and rejuvenates the skin.

Girls picking rose in the Rose Valley during the Rose Festival
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Rose picking, Rose Valley

How the Bulgarian Festival of Roses Started

Every year around the towns of Kazanlak and Karlovo there are beautiful celebrations of the roses – the Rose Festival in Bulgaria.

It started 118 years ago, in 1903. The celebrations are in honour of the rose, the flowers, the beauty and traditions of the Rose Valley. One of the major festivals is Kazanlak Bulgaria Rose Festival, as well as the Karlovo Festival of the Roses.

Today, the holiday has preserved the most essential part of the ancient rituals. They recreate the joy of rose harvesting and the hospitality of the locals.

Bulgarian rose, known as Rosa Damascena pink oil-bearing flowering deciduous shrub plant
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Bulgarian Rose (Rosa Damascena)

Highlights and Rose Festival 2021 Dates

Every year people crown a beautiful girl as Rose Queen and the three-day celebrations begin. The Bulgarian Festival of Roses is full of events, such as the magical ritual of rose harvesting. They are dressed in beautiful traditional costumes. The Bulgarian girls carry baskets. Furthermore, the girls expect the baskets to be filled with the fragrant pink petals of the roses.

A beautiful young Bulgarian girl walking the streets of Kazanlak
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Rose Queen 2019 during the Rose Festival in Kazanlak

Dance with locals

Experience the traditional Bulgarian folk dance called horo. Furthermore, horo is a typical Bulgarian dance. The participants make circles during the dance. Finally, the hundreds of dancing groups and ensembles will march during the parade at drumbeats. So, all that makes the experience authentic.

Bulgarian folklore group of women dancing during the Rose Festival in the city centre of Karlovo
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Bulgarian folk dance (horo)

The Rose Parade

The colourful Kazanlak Street Carnival is the largest street carnival in Bulgaria. The Kazanlak Bulgaria Rose Festival in 2021 will be held from June 4th until June 6th. The culmination of the festival will be the Carnival Parade. It will take place on the 6th of June 2021. Last but not least, you will be able to enjoy the beauty of the Rose Queen 2019 and her successor.

Rose-picking Ritual

The Rose Festival in Karlovo is also an important event in the Rose Valley. It also comprises rose picking, Carnival parade with Rose Queen 2019 and the election of Rose Queen 2021. The Rose Festival Bulgaria 2021 in Karlovo will take place on May 29th.

Additionally, we will update the dates of the Rose Festival 2021 dates in the nearby towns of Strelcha and in Pavel Banya.

Have you ever seen kukeri dancers?

They are so amazing! They monopolize the senses. You can’t look away. The ritual is a public one, profoundly ancient, full of spectacle and metaphor. Even more, festivals, groups of people display their kukeri costumes usually in winter, even during summer. Furthermore, the wear fantastical masks and belts of the massive metal bell. Not only that but kukeri are accompanied by musicians throughout the village. The kukeri dancers are dancing rhythmically to drive away evil and invite good.

Bulgarian men dressed like kukeri dancing during the Rose Festival in Karlovo, Bulgaria
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Kukeri dancers

The Rose Festival has become a celebration of talent, arts, and beauty for tourists, guests, and residents of Kazanlak and Karlovo. Many people from all over the world come here to take part in the festivities, as well as to enjoy the timeless beauty of the Bulgarian roses.

Roses and Relaxing Spa

Outdoor swimming pool and beautiful nature in Starosel
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Outdoor swimming pool in Starosel

The Rose Festivals in Kazanlak and Karlovo perfectly fit with typical Bulgarian cuisine, traditional wine and relaxing Spa. Hot springs are everywhere. You may take advantage of the nearby spa resorts and swimming pools with hot mineral water. There are excellent hotels and Spa centres in Pavel Banya, Hisarya, Starosel, and Stara Zagora Mineral Baths. Take the unique opportunity to visit the Rose Festival and relax with hot springs!

Indoor swimming pool in Pavel Banya, Bulgaria
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Indoor swimming pool in Pavel Banya

If you like roses, culture, beautiful nature, great food, you should certainly visit the Rose Festival in Bulgaria.

Book a Tour and Visit Rose Festival Bulgaria 2021

The Rose Festival 2021 dates are from June 4th until June 6th. The festival will take place in Kazanlak. We will be happy to welcome you and be your host in our beautiful country. Find out your perfect Rose tour on our website. Alternatively, send a message to Facebook. Our team will assist you and plan your private or guided tour to the Rose Festival Bulgaria 2021. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or our Blog to learn more about Bulgaria and get weekly updates.

Bulgarian girls dressed in traditional Bulgarian folklore costumes posing during the Rose Festival
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