Nearly 1,000 people visited the thirteenth anniversary of the traditional HONEY FESTIVAL on May 13 and 14, organized as a joint initiative of the State Enterprise Radioactive Waste and the association of beekeepers from the region of Kozloduy. Despite the unusual time of year for honey producers, the two-day exhibition brought together 11 producers of polyfloral honey, bee products, certified medical and cosmetic products at the newly opened Information Centre for Decommissioning. They were also joined by 15 artisans and masters from various fields of applied arts, presenting their collections of artistic objects made in the spirit of traditional Bulgarian crafts – fabrics, knitwear, products made of flat wool, handmade candles and jewellery, more modern art techniques were also presented – painted glass, decoupage, etc.
For charitable purposes, the home-made baked good and pastries were exhibited by the Turlashka Mahala Retirement Club and the Sheltered Housing in the village of Glozhene. The author of fabric jewellery Krasimira Kirilova presented her collection for charitable purposes in favour of a kindergarten.
Following an old Bulgarian tradition, all the Celebration’s guests were greeted with a bread roll to taste the variety of honey.
“It is a great joy for me that after a year missed we have the opportunity to be together again in the newly-built Information Centre of SERAW, to arrange the stands with natural and environmentally friendly products, which we have been missing a lot lately. I am confident that the visitors could not remain indifferent to the work of the honey producers and to the diversity presented by the artisans,” Dliyan Petrov, Executive Director of SERAW welcomed the participants and guests at the celebration.
The Deputy Mayor of Kozloduy Municipality, Georgi Kirkov, also addressed his best wishes to the organizers and participants: “The Honey Celebration is one of the most colourful and awaited events in our city and Kozloduy Municipality will further to support this wonderful event. I am glad to have the opportunity to be among you and wish you prosperity and success!”.
The highlight of the Celebration was a presentation about bees and honey, presented by the children from Kindergarten “Mir” in Kozloduy, as well as the performance of thematic poems by students from Vasil Levski Primary School. More than 15 young volunteers volunteered to help organize the two days of the exhibition.
The potter’s wheel of master Kuman Zhekov from the Vratsa Ethnographic Complex became an undeniable attraction of the event’s accompanying programme. Under his guidance, more than 80 children felt the clay “come to life” under their hands and, with the master’s made their own clay pots with the Master’s help as the north west founder of the Old Craft Maters’ Association and one of the last masters of Busintsi and antique ceramics, Kuman Zhekov told more about ceramics in Bulgaria and satisfied guests’ curiosity with interesting legends and real events from the history of Busintsi ceramics.
„This is my first time attending the Honey Celebration and I am very pleasantly surprised. The interest of the children was huge. In fact, pottery is very attractive, and they are very curious. Everyone who wanted to could sit in front of the pottery wheel and make a pot, there were a lot of smiles and a lot of joy in their eyes. I also didn’t expect that so many people were interested in Bussina ceramics, and the lecture actually turned into a conversation. I feel tired, but also satisfied!”, said so the master potter at the end of the event.
Kozloduy Beekeepers Association, producer of honey and bee products
“Most importantly, we all came together for the thirteen time and despite the pandemic and one year gap, the tradition was upheld. Because it is very valuable for the whole city. People are learning a new way of life, consuming healthy products and through the Celebration, through us, the producers, they realize the need to live a healthy life and to honour, love and respect the bees. This is important because bees are disappearing with each passing day, we are losing bee colonies every day, but we continue to fight against this. We all know that if the bees disappear, great damage will be done to the environment and to people. The Celebration is very nice because it is always attended by people from all over the region and further afield. It is also good because, despite the financial difficulties, we are all faced with, people buy honey knowing that they are giving their money for something useful, for something valuable. That’s why we, the producers, are already starting to prepare and allocate production for next year’s Honey Celebration.”
Atelier “Stara Rakla”, Sofronievo
“This event hosted by SERAW is one of the holidays that I love. We – “Stara Rakla” have been participating as artisan since the first year of the Celebration. What makes it so valuable is that it gives visitors a certainty–they can be assured of the quality and purity of the honey and bee products they buy from the exhibition. It is also very nice that people have the opportunity to see an exhibition of art made from natural materials. For us artisans, this is the only exhibition where we are completely satisfied. In the person of SERAW we meet people who are really concerned about crafts as well. And just like us, they are seekers of the pure and the precious. We, for example, work with wool – our own, Bulgarian, ecologically clean, long wool, which is nowhere to be found, except in our Karakachan breed of sheep, which is almost extinct.
That is why there are so many people and every year their number grows. And this year I am delighted with both the organization and the new building and the opportunities it provides for the event. I am delighted not only as a participant, but also as someone who sees from the outside what the work of the enterprise is all about and what its mission is towards a clean environment and a high environmental culture.”