The Silk Festivity started 15 years ago and has become an institution. It is organized by the Association Chrysallida and many other associations are participating, under the auspices of the Municipality of Soufli as well as the Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace.
The main scope is to honour and revive the local silkworm rearing tradition, the spread of sericulture, while promoting silk products and also the town of Soufli.
The event includes a lot of different activities every year, such as competitions, photo exhibitions related to silk, exhibitions of silk clothes and items, cycling tours, road races, music events, dance and theatre performance, theatrical workshops, screening of documentaries and films, presentation of books, meeting and presentations related to silk, interactive reenactment of the past with the use of modern technological means and artistic installations, representation of the life cycle of the silkworm with the help of technological means, workshops for dyeing clothes using the method of tie dye, silk workshop for adults and children regarding cocoon creations, painting techniques on silk, spinning and dyeing silk fabrics, batik technique seminars, educational workshops for children and families (creations with threads using the quipu technique), interactive activities for children and reenactment of traditional wedding custom.
Experiential and interactive activities
There are experiential / interactive activities, as mentioned above, concerning representations of the traditional works related to the breeding of silkworms and silk with modern projection means and interactive technology, workshops for spinning and dyeing silk fabrics, workshops in which adults and children can dye their clothes using the method of tie dye and learn to make creations with silk and threads, batik technique seminars and also interactive activities for children.
Important activities, such as reenactments of the traditional works related to the breeding of silkworms and silk and representation of the life cycle of the silkworm with the help of technological means, have taken place with the use of modern electronic equipment of virtual reality as well as through interaction with image and sound.
Main features and services that attract public
The main attraction is the uniqueness of the object in Greece but also the fact that this process is rare all over the world nowadays.
Key partners and supporters
Key partners and supporters / sponsors are private companies, the Municipality of Soufli and the Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace.
Local media serve as communication sponsors. ERT (Hellenic Radio Television, the public broadcaster of Greece) has also been a communication sponsor.
Also, several events are organized in collaboration with various local associations as well as the museums in which the activities take place (including the Piraeus Group Cultural Foundation).
Participants, local community and customer segment
Participants are mainly residents of the town of Soufli and of the surrounding area. Efforts have been made to promote the events through travel agencies in a nationwide scope with the aim of attracting visitors from all over Greece. In recent years, there has been an influx of tourists, mainly Greeks, with great prospects to attract people from the surrounding countries.
Communication and dissemination channels
Mainly through local media radio, television (including national television channels such as ERT), social networks, internet and travel agencies.
Specific elements and features
Managerial and organizational specifics
The organizational model is determined every year. Each year there is a key theme which also specifies the format of the events.
The different venues are located in the town of Soufli. Our goal is to connect the venues with other historic buildings and monuments of the town as well as with Associations and Museums.
The town of Soufli is accessible by bus and train. Unfortunately, there are not any bile paths but there are parking spaces.
Liaison with other activities and events of the Black Sea Basin region
All the above mentioned countries were part of the Silk Road. Some of them continue to this day to have small productions and some activities, while others are still trying to find their roots and identity. Clearly there could be correlations and similar events could be organized.
Image Sources: Courtesy of ‘Cryssalida’ Silk Friends Association
The event takes place in the town of Soufli, a town in the Regional Unit of Evros with a long history in silk production and industry.
One of the main venues is the Industrial complex of Tzivre Silk Mill, located at the entrance of the town, which is the oldest and most important industrial complex of Soufli. It was built by the Italian house of Milan “Ceriano Fratelli” in 1910-11 and functioned successfully up to 1958. It consists of 13 buildings, of a total surface of 10,500sq.m, the most important of which is the three-storey cocoon warehouse. Moreover, it constitutes a unique preserved structure of silk-mills industrial architectural complex in the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace and one of the biggest and most representative industrial complexes of the beginnings of the 20th century in the wider Balkan area. The entire complex has been listed as historical monument and work of art, since 1988.
Activities also take place in four other venues:
- Museum of Silk Art, an eclectic rehabilitated building;
- Soufli Folk Art Museum “Gnafala”-Bourouliti's Family Private Collection, which is the first folklore museum in the area, created in 1998 by the Bouroulitis family and houses its private folklore collection, started by George Bouroulitis around 1970;
- Silk Museum, which belongs to the Network of Thematic Technology Museums of the Piraeus Group Cultural Foundation and is a listed monument since 1994;
- Brika Mansion - Municipal Folklore Museum of Soufli, which was built around 1890 especially for the needs of sericulture and the production of silk seed and is a listed monument since 1986.
It is also important to mention that Soufli is near the Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli Forest National Park.
It usually takes place in summer, June, July or September.
Organizer and contact information
Cryssalida Association, Ermou 6
Soufli, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org