Kosharevo Village

Kosharevo village is located near the town of Breznik, between Lyubash and Cherna gora Mountains. The local population is really proud of their celebration of the traditional Surva – so much so that they call the village “The center of Surva”. There has been a big celebration for Surva in the center of the village for many years. The local population is around 180 people, of which roughly 100-120 participate in the masquerade group. The young people live and work in the nearby cities but they never miss returning home for Surva, even those living abroad come back for Surva. The feeling one receives by participating in these traditions is amazing.

A century ago only young men could join the group but now everybody is welcome to attend the celebration. Nowadays, the women and children are even more numerous because their enthusiasm and interest has grown. The children’s group has two leaders and one of them usually takes the leadership role from his father and grandfather. The costumes are made from red fabric so they are recognizable and their masks amaze everybody with their impressive heights of 4-5 meters. If you ask somebody from the village when they believed the celebration of Surva tradition started, they will reply: “Ever since the Earth has been turning”.  The locals have a lot of chickens and turkeys, so they give all the bird feathers and wings to the masquerade group. Sometimes they even use pigeon wings, but this sometimes attracts the attention of the local police force – and can get them in trouble.

The participants in the masquerade group of Kosharevo village bring with them wooden hammers. Years ago, they had wooden swords, but now they wanted to differentiate themselves from the others. This year they even ordered traditional Bulgarian shoes for all the participants, to look good and be even more authentic.

The youngest participant in the group is only 2 years old. He is not part of the children group, he is stays right next to his father. One of the other young participants is 5 years old and last year he spent the whole night crossing the village with the group without giving up. The group is so big and numerous that the main square in the town of Breznik (where a local masquerade festival is performed) is not big enough for all of them. This is the reason why only a part of the group joins the celebration there.

The oldest woman in the village created a special song for the days of Surva and the locals love singing it. The song ends with the words: “It is again the Surva celebration and the bells will jingle all the way.”

Recorded in 2019

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *