Surva, the International Festival of the Masquerade Games held in the town of Pernik is the biggest event of this type not only in Bulgaria but on the Balkan Peninsula as well. It promotes variations of ancient Bulgarian customs that are still alive today. These are an important part of the Bulgarian folklore tradition and are meant to be performed by single men and women. With its competitive nature, the festival is not only a venue but also a contest for the living vessels of this tradition, namely the Kukeri and Survakari.
The Municipality of Pernik has been holding the festival ever since 1966. In 1985 the festival gained international-event status. In 1995 the International Federation of Carnival Cities accepted the town of Pernik as its full member. In June, 2009 Pernik was proclaimed as the European capital of Surva`s and Mumers.