The Rose Festival in Kazanlak
The festival takes place every year, during the first weekend of June. This is the culmination of all the festivities that start in the beginning of May. The big event is the parade on the main street that attracts thousands of travellers from all over the world. Students from all schools in the region, kinder gardens, organizations and clubs parade on the main street dressed in different costumes. In the morning all the guests of the town visit the neraby rose fields where they pick up roses, take photos and enjoy performances of folklore dances.
On Friday and Saturday evening there are folklore concerts and competitions on the main square in Kazanlak. All participants are dress up in traditional costumes presenting different regions of Bulgaria. The spectators enjoy the colorful Bulgarian garments and the beauty of the traditional Bulgarian dances.
During the Rose Festival in Kazanlak the visitors can attend different events. Very interesting is the Election of Queen Rose that takes place few days earlier. On the day of the parade, the Queen Rose is one of the main figures.
Rose Picking Ritual
It is one of the most exciting rituals during the festive period and the favorite to many tourists. If you want to experiene rose picking you have to wake up very early in the morning, at around 5 am. The rose oil is concentrated in the petals until 11 am. Later part of it goes down tp the stem and part of it evaporates.
The Bulgarian Rose Oil
Around 70% of the rose oil in the world is produced in Bulgaria. One can find the vast rose fields in the region called the Valley of Roses. This beautiful area is located between two mountain ranges – the Balkan Range and the Sredna Gora and its unique location defines the mild climat of the valley and the rich soil. To produce one kilogram (or 1200ml) of rose oil is necessary to collect 3500 kilograms of petals from the Damascena variety. It is the most popular sort of roses with biggest concentration of oil in its petals. To extract oil from the white variety called Alba will be necessary 5000 kilograms of petals. To boil rose oil from some other varieties, will be necessary between 8000 and 10 000 kilograms of petals.
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