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Costume calendars 2020



A calendar dedicated to the beauty and spiritual strength of the Bulgarian woman

In folk culture clothing is regarded as a double of the person. In Bulgaria traditional women’s clothing is called „nosiya“ from the verb „nosya“ – to wear. The festive clothing is called „premyana“ (from the verb „to change“) and it has a distinctive ritual meaning. Every new „beginning“ – baptizing, transition from a child to a young woman, wedding or death – is marked with a new „premyana“. Getting married is a supreme moment in woman’s life. It is marked with multiple symbols, the most prominent among which is the wedding clothing. It is richly ornate not only in terms of garment, but also because of the complementary decoration and jewels. Some of the top women’s clothes can be put on for the first time in the wedding day and can be worn only after the wedding. Clothing is a symbolic boundary between the body and the outer world. Thus, some of its elements, which are inherited from the old woman’s costume like shirt, belt and apron, have apotropaic functions. The axil, sleeves and the brim of the skirts are decorated with embroidery, because it is there where evil forces could enter and harm the woman. The apron is in the front and it is the most visible and colourful part of the clothing. Enhanced with a belt and buckles, it is a powerful apotropaic symbol and dispels evil. The headscarf is a sign of age and social status worn by married women. It is believed to possess the strength and fertility of the woman. That is why the headscarf is an object of the worst magic spells. Jewellery is always an important complement of the costume which has not only decorative, but also functional designation. In medieval imagery – murals and miniatures, jewellery reveal the social status of their owners. Aristocrats and wealthy people wear richly decorated jewels made of precious metals. Other people have copper or bronze ornaments, which are sometimes gilded. The Ottoman invasion in Bulgarian lands lead to a change in local culture and traditions. The jewel was no longer a social separator, indicating the status of its owner – whether he is a ruler or an ordinary person – it became accessible to everybody.

Grozdelina Georgieva – Savatinova, curator, Plovdiv Regional Ethnographic Museum



"DEVOYKO,MARI,HUBAVA" is a calendar with authentic Bulgarian folk costumes stored in museums in Bulgaria. In this calendar you will see "revived" costumes from different regions of the country. You will touch the beauty and splendor of the authentic Bulgarian women's costume. This year, for the first time, the calendar includes costumes from the private collections of Ilonka Stankova and Radoslav Radkov from Varna, to whom we thank from the bottom of our hearts!



  • You support the activity of the museums in Bulgaria, as some of the calendars are donated by us for realization in favor of the museums with which we have worked on them;

  • You are participating in the charity initiative of the Bulgarian Roots and the Dimitar Talev Foundation, for the purchase of the native house of the great Bulgarian writer Dimitar Talev in the town of Prilep and its transformation into a Bulgarian museum. We donate part of the amount of each purchased calendar to the Foundation for this purpose.

  • You also support the activities of "Bulgarian Roots" to cover and promote important Bulgarian folklore events and participations in the coming year.

  • You will support the young talented musicians, whose performance you will be able to see with the QR code on the back of the calendar.

    The work took us to different parts of our beautiful country, met us with great-hearted museum workers from the museums in Burgas, Pernik, Gabrovo, Varna and Vratsa. Working with such people is a real pleasure and inspiration. And the touch of the unique beauties, created by the hand of the Bulgarian woman and preserved in the museums in Bulgaria, we captured in countless shots, from which the calendars for 2020 were born.

    The team of "Bulgarian Roots" would like to thank all the consultants, friends and participants in the initiative, who with information, advice and assistance contributed to the implementation of the project:

    Assoc. Prof. Dr. Angel Yankov, ethnologist, director of REM - Plovdiv Grozdelina Georgieva-Savatinova - curator at REM - Plovdiv

    Plamena Kirova - ch. curator of the Department of Ethnography RIM Burgas Ventsislava Krumova - Director of RIM Pernik

    Tsvetana Manova - ethnographer

    Nedka Dimitrova - Head of Ethnography RIM Vratsa

    Silvia Garvanska - curator of RIM Vratsa

    Joanna Nankova - curator of RIM Vratsa

    Krassimira Cholakova - Director of RIM Gabrovo Radoslav Radkov - Varna Ilonka Stankova – Varna

    And of course special thanks to the charming girls who with heart and devotion to the Bulgarian joined in these photos: Petya Kostadinova, Mariela Stoeva, Maria Nedelcheva, Jacqueline Petrova, Desislava Parvanova, Magdalena Petrova, Victoria Isaeva, Venice Lyubomirova, Alessandra Alexandrova, Irena Doctorova, Dobrinka Komneva, Gabriela Gancheva, Mariela Doktorova. Heartfelt thanks to Atanas Georgiev - our levent from the cover, for his charming smile and for the dedication with which he joined the project.

The Live Roots of Bulgaria Foundation



A calendar dedicated to the Rhodope Mountains and its amazing people.


This project was carried out with the kind assistance of the Regional Ethnographic Museum - Plovdiv, Regional Historical Museum "Stoyu Shishkov" - Smolyan, Historical Museum - Velingrad, the Regional Historical Museum in Kardzhali, Municipal Museum - Ardino and costumes from private collections.


"The Rhodope song is first cried and then sung!" Georgi Chilingirov
Every Bulgarian or foreigner who comes to the Rhodopes for the first time remains fascinated by the majestic mountain beauty, the numerous natural and historical landmarks, the old houses covered with stone slabs ... But he is no less admired by the Rhodope people. , nurtured with love for the mountains, preserved their rich soul, preserved ancient traditions. When we add the lyrical Rhodope song and its unchanging musical accompaniment - the kaba bagpipe, the traditional cuisine and the famous Rhodope hospitality, it becomes clear why one remains forever captivated by the mountain and its inhabitants.
Our first ethnographers note that the most archaic ethnographic group in the Bulgarian lands are the Rupci, who also inhabit the Rhodopes. In the past, neither foreign domination nor imposed religious differences could destroy the Bulgarian language and the freedom-loving spirit of the Rhodope people. A typical example of this is the traditional clothing, which survives the vicissitudes of time and retains its ethnic characteristics until late. The men's costume is black, and the women's - sayana or sukmanena. In the Middle Rhodopes, the older Sayas lived among the Bulgarian Mohammedans, while the Christians wore the sukman (wool) that appeared at the end of the 18th century. Its monochromatic nature is broken by the colorful plaid apron, which combines the colors of the sun, the rainbow, the earth and the mountains.
Of course, in this vast mountain labyrinth - from the easternmost to the westernmost parts of the mountain, you can immediately see the richness and diversity of the Rhodope costume, caused by different local or regional specifics, religion, climate, altitude, etc. .n. But all these invariants are above all a testimony to the creative abilities of the nameless Rhodope girls and brides, who create with both hands the beauty of the Rhodope costume.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Angel Yankov, ethnologist, director of REM - Plovdiv

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