The International Festival of Masquerade Games “Surva” in Pernik is the most prestigious expression of traditional folk games and customs with masks in Bulgaria.
The festival was organized by the Municipality of Pernik from 1966. Since 1985, it has the status of an international. In 1995 Pernik was accepted as a member of the Federation of European Carnival Cities. On June 26, 2009, during a solemn session of the Pernik Municipal Council, FEG president Henry van der Kron announced Pernik as the European capital of the Survakar and Kuker traditions. The decision was made in Kotor. Since 2008, the International Masquerade Games Festival is held annually on the last Saturday and Sunday of January. Its most attractive accent is the two-day racing defile of masquerade groups from the all the country and abroad.
Traditionally, about 6,000 people participate in the festival competition in about 100 masquerade groups from all ethnographic regions of Bulgaria and guests from Europe, Asia and Africa.