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Call for volunteers

Short-term voluntary service

Title:Christmas tree bazaar

Place: Razlog, Bulgaria

Date: 1 December 2015 – 2 January 2016

Participants: active individuals above 18

Aim of the voluntary service: Enhancing the atmosphere of the Christmas holidays in the center of Razlog.

Voluntary service description: For a fourth consecutive time the Christmas spirit will be enhanced through various traditional activities including Christmas tree decoration, Christmas bazaar, offering home-made pastries and souvenirs.  All the participants will use their skills to create decorations, cook local food and socialize with people from the region.

The International Initiatives for Cooperation established a beloved tradition back in 2011 with the event “The Boulevard of Christmas trees” in the small town of Razlog. The event was soon popular and in 2012, the news stories about the Boulevard were rated in top 10 for the most positive news of the year from the Bulgarian National TV. In 2014, the event “Boulevard of the Christmas trees” gathered over 10 000 people from all over the country and beyond to decorate 89 Christmas trees. This year we expect to decorate over 100 trees and to continue the tradition that brings joy in the hearts of thousands of people. The official opening ceremony is on 6th of December, which is St. Nicolas day and to commemorate this holiday, we will light up all the Christmas trees on the boulevard. However, we will need your help well before the official ceremony. We need your help starting on 1st of December to do the logistics for the trees and the little craft huts. After that, the fun part begins. You are allowed to use your bounderless creativity to decorate the craft huts and the Christmas trees. Bring your imagination and skills and all crazy ideas will be supported. All international participants are encouraged to recreate the spirit of Christmas from their own culture (with traditional decorations and food) so we all can enjoy the very best International Christmas in Bulgaria. The good news is that 6th of December is just the beginning of the fun. After the opening ceremony, all the participants are encouraged to spend as much time in the craft huts cooking traditional food or playing games with the kids from the local community.

On the Christmas Eve we will prepare a traditional dinner for all of the participants and you will feel the atmosphere of the holiday season in Bulgaria. We assure you it is very different experience from what the media has promoted for the last decades. Christmas in Bulgaria is not about the expensive presents because we believe that money can not buy you love and we give presents that come from the heart, that make the Christmas holidays an unforgettable experience for people from all paths of life.

Don’t worry about the after Christmas depression, you will not have time for it because the Christmas atmosphere after 25th of December is replaced by a New Year’s Eve euphoria and preparation for the traditional Kukeri festival on 1st January. The festival is a celebration of the new beginning and there’s no better way start a new year than scaring the evil spirits of the past and not letting them influence the new year ahead of us. Kukeri festival is an authentic pagan tradition coming from our ancestors. It’s the only one of its kind and one of the most important cultural events in the region. You are encouraged to take part of this traditional event as we can provide you with a Kukeri costume or a traditional costume so you can feel like a part of this traditional local experience. The magic of the atmosphere, will be lifted by the millions sparkling snowflakes snowy streets, that are inseparable part of the Kukeri festival. At the end of the holidays, we hope you had the satisfaction of creating special memories that you will remember with pleasure forever.

The activities will include:

Decoration of bazaar huts

Decoration of Christmas trees

Daily games and workshops with children at the Christmas bazaar

Cooking traditional Christmas treats that will be offered at the bazaar

Experiencing the Christmas Eve with a local family

Participating in the annual Kukeri festival on 1st of January

Warning: Prepare warm clothes because the weather in the mountain changes very quickly. Be aware that some of the activities will require you to spend time outside. The weather may be snowy/rainy and cold. Be prepared!

Travel costs: All of the travel costs should be covered by the participants.

Interested applicants can receive more information at the following contacts:

Email: office@iicbg.org, tkostadinka@gmail.com

Phone: +359 898 522 414

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