The Bagpipe Festival in Gela Village, Bulgaria

The festival in the village of Gela takes place on the first Saturday of August, and on Sunday becomes part of the large Ilinden gathering in the village of Gela.

Bagpipes (gaida) play in the village of Gela 2018 will be held on August 4 and 5, 2018.

Every year at the beginning of August on the Ilinden meadows in the village of Gela gathers clans and people from all over Bulgaria. The tradition is preserved by the people from the Rhodope Mountains.

The main purpose of the festival is to promote the authentic Rhodope folklore.

An obligatory condition for Bulgarian participants is the performances of the Kaba Gaida. Kaba Gaida is the Rhodope Mountains bagpipe - one of the most distinctive symbols of the folklore music in Bulgaria.The natural materials used—wood, horn, skin and cotton—and the way it is made provide the specific voice and vibration of the gaida in the tunes and the ornamentation used. The Kaba gaida is similar to the gaida. It is lower pitched than the typical gaida. The chanter has a specific curve at the end and has a hexagonal profile. Usually, the bag is larger. The shape of the channel inside the chanter is a reverse cone.



The event in the village of Gela is getting more and more popular and has grown into an international forum. Foreign artists from Japan, the Netherlands, Hungary, France, the United Kingdom and Scotland are registered. The number of participants ranges from 40 to 60 for the two days. The youngest participant in the program was 5 years old and the oldest - 85 years.

There is growing interest in the initiative. People from all over Bulgaria are coming to Ilinden meadows. Visitors to the festival range from 8,000 to 13,000,000 a year.

How to reach Gela?

The village of Gela is situated at 1500 m altitude in the heart of the Rhodope Mountains, above it are the mountain tops  Golyam Perelik (2191 m), Orpheus (2188 m) and Turlata (1825 m). It is about 7 km away from the village Shiroka Laka, about 35 km from Trigrad, about 30 km from the regional town of Smolyan and about 250 km from Sofia.

Map of the village

The most convenient way to get there is through the Pamporovo resort (located about 20 km from the village), then take the road to Shiroka Luka. The path can offer magnificent views and although it is quite narrow it is well maintained in the summer.

Image Source 

Bilyana Ninova

Bilyana Ninova is a Marketing specialist, content creator and hobby photographer.

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