Lobosh village is part of Kovachevtsi municipality. It is located next to Rudina Mountain at only 30 km from the town of Pernik.
The population of the village is only 120 people now and around 15-20 of them are young and enthusiastic about the tradition of Surva. The biggest parts of the masquerade group are young people who live and work in the cities, but they still come return to the village. They often visit their parents and relatives during the holidays and Surva is still the best time of the year for all of them. Everybody in the village collects bird feathers, leather pieces and tree bark during the year in anticipation of the new masks they will start to create in October. For one of the mask creators, this has become a hobby that is practiced yearlong. Naturally, the most enthusiastic of the group are the children. They don’t allow the adults to mask themselves and participate in Surva without bringing them along.A few decades ago the children were not allowed to join the masquerade group but nowadays they are warmly welcomed, the same could be said for the women. Since they started allowing women and children the Lobosh masquerade group is now consistently around 50 people.
The day before January 13th, a few young men collect wood from the mountain and they prepare the fire at the center of the village. Everybody enjoys the masquerade dancing around the fire during the night. The participants in the group put on their costumes, made with colorful fabrics, their masks and the heavy bells to be ready for the celebration around the fire. The locals and the visitors, are all very welcomed to join the celebrations. They can “fight” with the bear or join the “wedding ceremony” or the special dance of the masquerade group. This holiday is an incredible experience for all the people involved or observing. The masquerade groups of the neighboring villages of Elov dol, Chepino, Svetlia, Peshtera often attend the celebration in Lobosh. Every year, one of the locals prepares dinner for all the masquerade group. Some years, after the celebration in the village, the masquerade group visits other nearby villages.
On the morning of January 14th, the masquerade group visits all the houses in the village and they wish good luck and lots of health for the new year to all the members of the village. They are warmly welcomed in every house. The leader of the group, “the bride and the groom” and the “priest” enter in the house, and the masked people with the bells rest in the yard and practice their special Surva dance. The hosts are very generous and give so many presents to the group that they need a car to collect everything. The leader once said: “the number of people in the village has decreased, but the volume of the presents for the group has grown every year. Surva is our shared love”.
Recorded in 2019