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International Bagpipe Contest 2021

What's in common between Orpheus and bagpipers? Visit the village of Gela and see for yourself

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Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva
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Bagpipes in Bulgaria? Yes, this is not Scotland, but skillful musicians of this country have something for you as well. Every year, on the first Saturday of August in the picturesque village of Gela, there is a contest of bagpipers, in which musicians from all parts of Bulgaria and famous bagpipers from Scotland, Ireland, and other countries show their skills. The bagpipe is even considered to be one of many traditional instruments in Bulgarian culture nowadays.

The festival is called the International Bagpipe Contest and takes place on the high hilly glades by the small church St. Ilia near the village. Legends say that Gela is the native place of the mythical Orpheus. In the vicinity, there are several caves—Ledenitsata, Devil's Throat, and others. Residents of Gela keep their traditions.

People from all parts of Bulgaria—performers and guests—come to the camp to socialize and enjoy the sounds of bagpipes, percussion, and other accompanying instruments with songs, dance, and fun.

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