Festival of Roses
Bulgaria is one of the biggest producers of rose oil in the world. This is due to the high qualities of the Bulgarian rose from Kazanluk ("Kazanlashka roza"), a special type of roses. The Bulgarian roses are descendants from the so called Damascena rose, that was brought in Bulgaria ages ago. The rose oil is called "the liquid gold" of Bulgaria. This is mainly because it is a highly expensive product, used mainly for the making of perfumes, chocolates, liqueur and jam. The rose oil is 3 times more expensive than the real gold. One kilogram rose oil can be extracted from 3000 kg of roses. This means, that for one gramme of rose oil are used more than 1300 rose blossoms! Every flower is picked by hands and preserved carefully for the distillation. More than 2000 people are occupied in the harvest every year.
Kazanlak Rose Festival
The Valley of Roses doesn't exist as a geographical object. The rose has an important role in the history of Kazanlak region and is an unseparable part of the lifestyle of the local people. The rose cultivation and rose industry have been developed trough the years by generations of enterprising people from the valley. As a capital of the rose-growing region, Kazanlak welcomes many visitors and tourists to the annual Festival of Roses, which happens always at the first week of June. This Rose Festival was held for the first time in 1903 and was dedicated to the beauty and charity. Nowadays the festival is a celebration of the wonderful qualities and views of the unique Valley of the Roses. It is believed to be one of the most attractive events both for local people and foreigners. The Festival of Roses programme includes the coronation of Queen Rose, the traditional rose-picking ritual and rose-distillation that helps one feel the true atmosphere of authenticity. The Festival ends with a street procession in which the main role is presented to the participants of the International Folklore Festival that has been hold parallel to the Rose Festival