The International Festival of Masquerade Games “Surva”, which is traditionally held in the town of Pernik, will not take place this year – this was announced by the municipality, after a meeting held on 7 January between the mayor, representatives of the National Operational Unit for COVID-19 and the Prime Minister.
The event was to take place on the last weekend of January. The reason, as expected, are the restrictions imposed in connection with the spread of coronavirus.
There will be a celebration on the occasion of Surva, anyway
In 2021, the residents and guests of Pernik, most of whom arrive only because of the festival of masquerade games, better known as “Surva” will not be able to enjoy it for yet another year. This year’s edition was finally cancelled due to the epidemic situation.
However, the tradition of Surva in the villages on the territory of the municipality will be carried out in compliance with anti-epidemic restrictions, ensured Assoc. Prof. Angel Kunchev, Chief State Health Inspector. By the end of the week, it should be specified what measures will be taken to organise the celebrations in Pernik villages.
It is certain, however, that masks will be worn, and visitors will observe social distancing guidelines. The traditional Survakar groups will not be allowed to visit local houses.
The mayor of Pernik Stanislav Vladimirov, for his part, said that he could not ban the observance of the Surva tradition, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. “In Pernik, banning Surva is like banning Easter and Christmas. There is no way this will happen, and it is not right. Besides, even if there is an order, people will not follow it,” he said.
We remind our readers that in 2020 the popular event was also cancelled, again for reasons related to the life and health of residents and guests. This time, the cause was the unprecedented water crisis facing the “mining town”, which necessitated the imposition of a state of emergency and a water regime.
Prior to that, the event has been held since 1966, and in 1985 it received international status.