The main part of the participants in the Surva games in Central Western Bulgaria are dressed in animal skins turned with the fur outwards or in clothes with sewn fringes of parti-colored pieces of cloth. Also typical is the decoration with cattle or fox tails, corn and hemp stems, and leaves. An important and mandatory attribute are the bells, different in number, size and sound. In this type of masquerade games also typical is the arming of the dressed with wooden sticks, maces and swords. Every survakar wears a mask. Masks are usually zoomorphic with stuffed parts of domestic animals, skins, horns, tails, bird wings and feathers. There are also anthropomorphic masks. The most interesting ones are with complex features – a scary face from a wooden shell with animal parts around it. The masks are made anew every year and that is why they are a unique piece of national applied art.
Amongst the many masked men, special roles are attributed to the following characters:
- “leader” (vodach) – byulyukabshiya, bolyubashiya, dressed in voivode clothes and leading the group;
- “bride and groom” (bulka i mladozhenec) dressed in wedding clothes;
- “standard bearer” (bayraktar), carrying the traditional wedding flag;
- “father in law and mother in law” (svekar i svekarva),
- “best man and woman of honor” (kum i kuma),
- “brother in law” (dever);
- “a priest” (pop) who makes a parody wedding in each of the visited homes;
- “a bear and a bear keeper” (mechka i mechkar), who cheer the audience – “the bear keeper” plays a fiddle and “the bear” maules the hosts for good health.
In contemporary masquerade groups there are other characters, inspired from modern life, such as “the doctor”, “the police officer”, “the gypsy” and others.