Local festivals: Traditions, Innovations, Resources
Since the mid-1990s, the number of festivals has been growing globally, as has their role, place and significance in the postmodern world. Their “massification” is a typical manifestation of the lifestyle of postmodern societies, of their consumption patterns and leisure. “Festivalization” is perceived by central and local authorities, as well as by residents of local communities as an opportunity to stimulate economic development, social integration and solidarity, to form identity, to build and strengthen social capital, to preserve cultural historical heritage and its transformation into a symbolic capital of the community. This kind of “boom” of local holidays is observed in Bulgaria: along with established festivals over the years forgotten traditions are revived, new holidays are invented, which quickly become a “recognizable face” of cities, villages and neighborhoods. But at the same time, some of them are in the nature of “pseudo-events”, often ideologically and politically motivated, pursuing certain economic goals, often deprived of the authenticity and cultural tradition that they claim to be. The increase in popularity and number is undoubtedly related to the emergence and development of the phenomenon of “cultural consumption”. In the context of the Covid 19 pandemic, which spawned and deepened a series of crises, local festivals not only retain their life-affirming spirit and meaning, but something more: their significant social role as a resource for local communities to deal with crises becomes more visible.
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