The neighbors started picking rose petals

English Section / 22 mai

The neighbors started picking rose petals

Versiunea în limba română

The roses made the neighbors south of the Danube known all over the world. The rose picking season has opened on the plantations near the city of Kazanlak (south), in a region considered the best in Bulgaria for growing roses. A harvest ritual held near the village of Cherganovo was included in the program of the 121st edition of the Rose Festival, according to the local administration.

Visitors could watch a rose distillation demonstration and taste rose jam and rose liqueur. Rose picking days are organized every weekend until June 2.

The roses must be picked early in the morning, before sunrise, according to the organizers. The picking usually ends by 9 am, because rose petals have a higher concentration of essential oil between 4 and 8 am. Traditionally, women sing while picking rose petals and compete to pick the most. Then the plantation managers show up to collect the harvest and pay the pickers. Distillation of the roses begins directly after the first day's harvest is picked. The cauldrons are loaded with rose petals and water. Roses that are picked must be in full bloom to contain the maximum levels of oil. It takes about 2.5 - 3 tons of rose petals to get one kilogram of rose oil. The first distillate is known as rose water. After the second distillation, rose oil results. Bulgaria is one of the top three producers of rose oil in the world. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, there are 2,943 registered rose growers in Bulgaria (data from March 7, 2024). Rose plantations cover an area of 5,367 hectares. There are 67 registered rose processors and 53 processing facilities are in use. In 2023, Bulgaria exported 1,370 kg of rose oil at an average price of 9,168 euros/kg. Most exports go to the USA, China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and France.