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This year we celebrate 114 years of the Rose Festival at Kazanlak !
May - June - 2017
The Valley of Roses is one of the biggest producers of rose oil in the world. The soil and the climate in this region are quite suitable for the roses. The conditions in Kazanlak proved to be more favourable for the cultivation of the rose than those in its own country of origin - Tunisia. This is specifically valid for the rainfalls. The air humidity, cloudiness and precipitation in May and June contributed to obtain roses yielding high percentage of oil.
The town of Kazanlak is located in the center of Bulgaria, in the western part of the Kazanlak basin. Kazanlak is the center of the Valley of the Roses, the home of the Thracian kings, and an attractive tourist destination. The country’s largest and best preserved Thracian tombs are found here, and they are included among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, along with the Museum of Roses. There are two nature reserves and five protected areas in the vicinity of Kazanlak, preserving natural wonders and age-old forests. The town neighbors on the largest and stunningly beautiful reserve in the Stara Planina mountain range, Dzhendema, which is part of the Central Balkans National Park. The park extends almost to the Kazanlak’s western town limits.
The Rosa Damascena, known as the Damask or Castile rose, is the greatest treasure in the region of Kazanlak. The rose was imported into Bulgaria centuries ago, and today it is one of the nation’s symbols. Under the influence of the country’s unique climate and soil, this rose gradually developed into a Bulgarian strain distinct from Damask roses elsewhere.
That is why at the beginning of the 19th century this rose was named the Kazanlak Damask rose and the valley to the south of the Central Balkans came to be known as the Valley of the Roses.
The Festival of the Roses is one of the most notable Bulgarian holidays, festooned with the beautiful roses in bloom. The festival was first held in 1903, and it has become a tradition to hold it the first weekend in June, since this is when the Kazanlak roses bloom. The festival has become an international attraction, when the city is glad to host thousands of guests. The festival program includes the crowning of the Rose Queen and the ritual gathering and distilling of roses. There are other celebrations, such as a carnival and the international folk festival “Youth of the Balkans.”