Thousands of people in Bulgaria will celebrate New Year’s with events at downtown squares organized by local communities and authorities.

The open-air celebrations of the advent of the New Year with live music, wine, fireworks, and traditional round dances (”horo”) – in spite of the midnight winter cold – have emerged as a popular tradition in Bulgaria in the past couple of decades.

The largest New Year’s happening will be the show in downtown Sofia, which will be broadcast live on the Bulgarian National Television, BNT, and will feature a number of popular pop and rock performers.

BNT and the Sofia City Hall are organizing the celebration on Knyaz Alexander Battenberg square for the 14th time in a row. In addition to the concert, “The Stage under the Stars” show will include a carnival, circus performances, pyrotechnics, a DJ review, fireworks, light effects, and prizes. It starts at 10 pm Monday and concludes at 1 am on January 1.

Public transportation will run all through the night, but police have alerted they will up their presence to prevent incidents.

Many Bulgarian municipalities will treat those attending the community celebrations of the arrival of 2013 with New Year’s banitsa – traditional Bulgarian pastry with luck charms.

Some Bulgarian municipalities – Veliko Tarnovo in particular – will provide free beer, wine, roasted pigs, banitsa and deserts.

Similar events will be held in most other major cities such as Plovdiv, Burgas, Blagoevgrad, Dobrich, Pleven, Ruse, Sliven, and Yambol, among others.

The show in the Black Sea city of Varna, will feature as its main star Joe Lynn Turner former Lead singer for Yngwie Malmsteen, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Deep Purple, and Fandango.

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