Bagpipe players from all over the world descend on Gela village for bagpipe festival

Photo: library

Gela village in the Rhodopes is once again bringing together kaba gaida (low-pitched) bagpipe players.

As always the bagpipe playing contest is taking place in Ilindenski meadows above the village on the first Saturday of August. Every year it is a magnet for crowds of people coming from all parts of the country, usually no less than 8,000 in number, though in recent years their numbers have grown to 13,000. The festival’s popularity has been growing and it has turned international. Over the years participants have been registered from Japan, the Netherlands, Hungary, France, Great Britain and Scotland. The youngest player to have taken part is 5, and the oldest – 85. The aim of the event is to popularize authentic folklore from the Rhodope Mountain. Once again this year the festival’s fringe programme features singing, instrumental and dance groups, folklore rituals, solo performers, expositions, arts and crafts demonstrations.

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