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.