XVIII International Fair of Traditional Crafts

1—3 September 2023
The International Fair of Traditional Crafts at Etar Museum is the only fair in Bulgaria based on a museum concept. Its mission is to educate and guide, preserve handicraft traditions, promote and maintain the tangible and intangible cultural heritage. During the days of the event, craftspeople from the country and abroad meet, exchange practices and make new contacts, while visitors get the opportunity to experience traditions in a unique and inspiring way.

The latest (seventeenth) edition of the International Fair of Traditional Crafts was held in 2019. It was dedicated to the 55th anniversary of Etar Museum and was a get-together of a kind of traditions from three continents! More than 70 expert craftspeople and freelance artists from 16 countries joined the fair.

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 event is supported by a range of media outlets, chambers of crafts and travel agents.

More information about the current edition of the Fair will follow soon.
Programme highlights
  • International craftsmen's exhibition bazaar
  • International craftsman's competition in silversmith's trade
  • National youth competition in jeweller's skills
  • International scientific forum "Traditional Crafts: Contemporary Reflections"
  • Folklore programme
  • Exhibition "Crafts with Future" and photo exhibition "Croatian Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Lists of UNESCO"
  • Exhibition bazaar "Art zone"
  • Photographer's competition "Ethno Objective: Fair of Crafts"
International exhibition bazaar of crafts
Over the years, the Fair has welcomed expert craftspeople from Ukraine, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania Latvia, Hungary, Kosovo, Serbia, Algeria, Iran, Romania, the Republic of South Africa, Azerbaijan, Germany, Belarus, North Macedonia, the Netherlands, Sudan and Syria. In recent years, contemporary artists with their own perusa of traditions have also been featured at the event. For the first time in 2019, the Fair included representatives of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
International Craftsman's Competition
Since 2003, a key highlight in the program of the Fair has been the Craftsman Competition, which recreates the bets practiced during the period of the Bulgarian National Revival era, between masters of various crafts. The winner receives the Silver Bell Grand Prix, a cash bonus and the right to a solo exhibition at Etar Museum during the year that follows his or her win. Since 2017, there has been a Youth Section at the Craftsman Competition. The winner receives the Bronze Bell prize and a cash bonus.
Folklore program
Each edition of the Fair offers a diverse music and dance program. Professional and amateur groups from almost all ethnographic regions of Bulgaria perform to keep up the good mood of the guests of the event.
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Regional Ethnographical Open-Air Museum “Etar"
144 Gen. Derozhinski, Gabrovo 5309
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