In the last post I showed a recap of the 112th Rose Festival in Kazanlak. Today I continue in the spirit of the festival by dressing up in something rather different – a traditional attire you can barely see anyone wearing nowadays. This folk dress of Bulgaria (in its varieties) has been an essential part of women’s wardrobes in times when there were no shopping malls, hence Internet. It was sewn by hand, and made from natural materials like flax, hemp, wool and cotton. The more embroidery, coins, beads and flowers there were, the more noble it appeared. In fact, these elements and details from Bulgarian folk garment have inspired many world-famous designers. This season in particular Valentino and Isabel Marant took inspiration from Eastern European attire in their collections.
Traditionally, girls would also wear roses in their hair, but I really didn’t want to pick up one of these beautiful flowers just for the sake of vanity. They look better where they are supposed to be – in their natural form.
The day I dressed in this beautiful dress we stopped by at the Ethnographic complex in the old town in Kazanlak. There we submerged in the atmosphere of living the life of a rose merchant from the past century. Also we went to the Rose Museum, where we learnt so much about rose-picking and rose-production. For instance, it takes more than 1 million flowers to produce 1 kg of rose oil! Can you imagine how much is that?! However, it’s a shame I did not know some of these facts. People from all over the world come to learn more about Bulgaria and the rose culture while we, who have this treasure right beneath our noses, are missing so much of it.
To my international readers: Have you ever heard anything about Bulgarian traditions and folklore?