His name’s rooths come from the meaning of “kind-hearted person”. He knows that life is a magic encoded in a past filled with fairies and dragons. His music is the shaking sound of back-pipes, and his stories are sewn in embroideries. The sun is his sign and the storm his path. His rooths are deep and always bring him back home. He drives away evil with an energetic dance, hand to hand. He dances bear feet on the glowing embers, plays Horo in the freezing waters and does a ritual asking for rain…He is Bulgarian. He invites you to visit and see for yourself an unique and typical for Kalofer tradition - the men’s horo in the freezing waters of Tundzha river.You can trace the ritual’s beginnings back to the times of Ottoman rule over Bulgaria. Today the tradition is still alive! Thousands of people are dancing dressed in national dresses in the freezing waters of Tundza river which is going through the town of Kalofer.
Our 2 days / 1 night adventure will start at 10:00 am in front of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia. If you want us to take you from your hotel or the place where you are staying, please let us know in advance by contacting us, so we can make the arrangements (usually such a 2-way transfer will cost around 10 euro for a group).We depart for Plovdiv – one of the most ancient and still existing and well alive cities in Europe (also European Capital of Culture for 2019). After our arrival in Plovdiv, we’ll take a look at the most iconic attractions in the city.For lunch we will enjoy the typical Bulgarian cuisine in a local restaurant.Some of the places we will visit: The famous “Old town” – a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site The Roman theatre of Philippopolis which is probably the most visited place in the city. The site was built in the end of 1st century AD and is one of the most well preserved theatres from antiquity in Europe. The Roman stadium which is amongst the largest and most well- preserved buildings from the time of the Ancient Rome on the Balkan peninsula. The facility, approximately 240 m (790 ft) long and 50m wide, can seat up to 30000 spectators. Today, the northern curved part of the stadium is partially restored and is one of the most recognisable landmarks of the city!The Ethnographic museum – it’s the second biggest in BulgariaIn our free time we can enjoy the Kapana neighborhood – the most artsy place in town!Late afternoon at about 17:00 we depart towards Bania city where we will stay for the night in a hotel. There we’ll have a traditional Bulgarian dinner in a traditional Bulgarian tavern with local cuisine and music.Our second day starts early – at 6:00h.We depart for Kalofer city. That’s because on the 6th of January every year the city is being awoken by the loud noises of the bagpipes.The legends say that about one century ago the “Men’s Horo” of Kalofer’s men in the freezing waters of Tundza was aiming at frightening the neighboring villages.Nowadays, the “Men’s Horo” is not just paying tribute to the ancestors and keeping the tradition alive. It’s also a demonstration of the power of unity by strong and proud men dancing a traditional Bulgarian folklore song in the freezing river, wearing Bulgarian traditional dresses.The holiday continues with celebrations of the birth of one of Bulgaria’s national heroes Hristo Botev who was a poet and revolutionary born in Kalofer. We will witness the traditional flower giving in front of his monument.Free time for lunch and walk around the town.We depart for Sofia in the afternoon at about 16:00h. Expected arrival time in Sofia – 18:30h.