Do you want to learn about the famed Valley of the Roses in Bulgaria? Are you interested in the celebrations and products surrounding the Valley of the Roses? Read our guide for more facts and information...
The Valley of the Roses is located just to the south of the imposing Balkan Mountains between two great river valleys. This region features great growing soil and an ideal climate for the cultivation of roses as the climate contributes not only to great crops but also ensures that roses with a high oil yield are produced. This region of Bulgaria is about 710 metres above sea level and experiences weather that can aptly be described as humid, cloudy, and rainy during picking season; it should be noted that there is never abundant rainfall just numerous days of rain. It should also be noted that every five to seven years the region experiences a warming trend which severely diminishes the harvest as the crops are limited in their growth.
The Picking Season
Bulgaria is famed the world over for its rose products but before any products are produced the flowers must first be picked using the utmost care. The picking season extends from May to June except when it is impaired by an unusual warming trend and the picking is traditionally preformed by women. The women must possess exceptional dexterity and patience as the roses are easily damaged if the picking process is hurried or done without extreme care. The flowers are cut by the rose pickers on an individual basis and once removed from their plant they are laid into woven baskets with care before they are shipped to the government operated distilleries to be processed into products.
The process of growing rose plants has become a refined art in Bulgaria as they have gained international repute for the high quality. The plants are grown in the Valley of the Roses in hedged rows in an effort to prevent wind damage to the plants. Extra care is devoted to the plants when they begin to flower in early March until they are ready to be picked in May and June of the same year.
Celebrating the Rose
Bulgaria is famous for its rose growing industry as the country produces a variety of products used in medical care and personal use around the world; the most popular product is rose oil and the country and the valley in particular produce over 85% of the world’s supply. The rose is not only useful as a product but the rose is also symbolic not only in Bulgaria but around the world as it is regard as a symbol of love and beauty meaning rose products are all the more cherished. The people also truly cherish the rose plants as they contribute not only to the economy but to the culture; in honour of the rose the country and particularly the area of the Valley of the Roses celebrate each year through a festival that includes picking rituals and the telling and partaking in of folklore traditions.