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Bulgarians Keen to Hail Sunrise Hippy-Style on July Morning

Date: 01.07.2011

Eight thousand people are expected to gather Thursday evening at Kamen Bryag village on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, the traditional location for the hippy-style celebration of hailing the sunrise, known as July Morning.

The first performances in the morning of July 1 on the beach in Kamen Bryag will be by Varna group REV and Command 5. They will be followed on the stage near the Ogancheto district by the rock-band B.T.R.

At 5.32 am, just as the sun starts to rise, Uriah Heep's John Lawton will hail it with the cult song July Morning. This will be the fifth performance of the vocalist of the British rock band from the 70s for the Bulgarian holiday.

Special performances have been planned also in the towns of Varna, Burgas and Sozopol.

Following the death of a young man in 2009, who fell off a cliff and drowned at Kamen Bryag, solar lamps have been installed every five meters, covering a line of one kilometer, a kilometer and a half. The central area is also ring-fenced, while about 100 policemen have been deployed on the very day of the celebrations to make sure there are no accidents.

The July morning tradition dates back to the hippy period in the 1970s and 1980s and originated as a protest against the restrictions of the communist regime. Nowadays this meaning is lost but the sun worship as a symbol of a new beginning in life motivates young people to keep the tradition alive.

As the name suggests, the anthem of the celebrations is British rock band Uriah Heep's 1972 hit July Morning.

The tradition begs for associations with the sun worship of Peter Dunov followers, who hail the sunrise at the Hill of Prayers in the Rila mountian, which they consider to be a divine mystery.

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