By tradition, every year at the beginning of September the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum “Etar” becomes the venue for craftsmen from near and far who present their skills and unique articles to the numerous visitors of the International Fair of Traditional Crafts.

In this European Year of Cultural Heritage, the fair is held under the patronage of Mrs. Tsveta Karayancheva, President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria. The fair’s organizers are the Ministry of Culture, Municipaity of Gabrovo, Ethnographic Open Air Museum “Etar”.
The International Fair of Traditional Crafts at the Ethnographic Open Air Museum “Etar" is the only one fair, organized on museum concept and with strict adherence to the traditions. The purpose of the fair is to educate and train as well as to promote the mission of safeguarding the cultural heritage. During the days of the event artisans from Bulgaria and foreign countries meet, exchange experience and make new contacts, and the visitors get the opportunity to experience the traditions in a unique way.

The programme of the 16th International Fair of Traditional Crafts includes:
Stone Figures from the Bulgarian Revival Period
Eight artisans will take part in the Craftsmen's competition in stonemasonry – one of the most important events during the 16th International Fair of Traditional Crafts that is held from 6th to 9th of September in the Ethnographic open – Air Museum "Etar".

Georgi Georgiev, curator and main organizer of the Craftsmen's competition, tells about the stylistic characteristics of the stone plastic arts during the Bulgarian Revival Period.
Entertainment for children during the Fair
The children, who visit the museum in the days of the 16th International Fair of Traditional Crafts (from 6th to 9th of September), will have the possibility to have fun in several places. Museum children's center is situated on the meadow, next to "Strannopriemnitsa" hotel and "Bulgarka" center is next to the parking lot of the museum.
"Art – a Bridge between Cultures" – exhibition of traditional Iranian crafts
The exhibition "Art – a bridge between cultures" which presents traditional handicrafts from Iran will be on display in the exhibition hall above the walnut-oil workshop in the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum "Etar" from the 7th until the 30th of September.
Craftsmen's Competitions – One of the Emblems of the Fair of Crafts in the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum "Etar"
One of the emblematic events in the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum "Etar" is the Craftsmen's competition, which takes place during the International Fair of Traditional Crafts. In 2018 the event will take place between 5th and 9th of September, dedicated to the craft of "Stonemasonry". The tradition dates back to 1981, connected with the celebration of the 1300th anniversary of the Bulgarian state. The competition recreates "a bet", because of which the best master craftsmen of a certain craft "measure their skills" in a couple of days. Initially, competitions were organized among coppersmiths in three successive years (1982, 1983, 1984). In 1985 and 1986 a chance to express their skills was given and to the cutlers. In 1989, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of "Etar", the museum hosted master blacksmiths. Then followed a period in which the interesting event was no longer held – but it wasn't forgotten neither by the museum's staff, nor by the audience or by the craftsman's community in the country. The first international competition was held in 2014 in connection with the 50th anniversary of the Ethnographic Open – Air Museum "Etar". Craftsmen from Serbia, Turkey and Romania took part in it. The Bulgarian craftsmen presented the most popular pottery schools from the Revival Period – from the towns of Busintsi, Troyan and Gabrovo.

In 2018 the craftsmen's competition is in the craft "Stonemasonry" and will start on the 5th of September, a day before the beginning of the ХVІ International Fair of Traditional Crafts.
The President of the Bulgarian Parliament shall open the 16th International Fair of Traditional Crafts
Tsveta Karayancheva, as President of the Bulgarian Parliament, is the patron of the International Fair of Traditional Crafts and shall open the event on the 7th of September in the Ethnographic Open Air Museum “Etar".

Ministry of Culture, Municipality of Gabrovo and Ethnographic Open Air Museum “Etar" are the institutions that organize the event. During the fair there are many events, attractive as to the general public, as well as to the scientific community. Extremely popular event, the International Fair of Traditional Crafts performs the important role to preserve traditions from the way of life of the Bulgarians in the past to the modern times.
The craftsmen’s competition is in stonemasonry for the first time
This year the craftsmen's competition - one of the most important events during the16th International Fair of Traditional Crafts will be held from 5th to 8th of September, 2018. For the first time in the history of the competition, the subject is stonemasonry. Masters from the Association of the Bulgarian Stonemasons will compete. Students from the only one school of stonemasonry on the Balkans – Professional High School of Stonemasonry in Kunino will take part in the youth section. The 16th International Fair of Traditional Crafts will be held from 6th to 8th of September, 2018.
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The website of the International Fair of Traditional Crafts has been active since 2003
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Contacts
Rositsa Bineva
Fair
+359 88 4772156
r.bineva@etar.bg
Georgi Georgiev
Craftsman Competition
+359 88 2956221
g.georgiev@etar.bg
Svetlozar Tododrov
Coordinator
+359 88 5865966
s.todorov@etar.bg
Tihomir Tsarov
Public Relations
+359 88 3569586
t.tsarov@etar.bg
Pavel Mitkov
Hotel
+359 88 7874802
hotel@etar.bg
Ivelina Tsaneva
Finances
+359 66 801840
i.tsaneva@etar.bg

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Ethnographical Open-Air Museum “Etar”
144 Gen. Derozhinski, Gabrovo 5309
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