Friday, February 10, 2012

The Mummers' Masquerade: A Bulgarian Folk Tradition

The mummers' masquerade is a festival held every January in the town of Pernik, near the Bulgarian capital -Sofia. It is believed that the ritual is a celebration of the new year and its resurrection into spring. People gather to chase away the evil spirits and pray for health, rich harvest and land fertility. 
The festival in Pernik is the only one, where you can see masks from all ethnographic regions of the country.

The masked participants are called koukeri, kukove, survakari, startsi, babugeri, dzhamailari, kamilari, etc. 

The rattle of hundreds bronze and copper bells, adorned to the waist and back strengthens the prayers resounding to the march of their feet 

                      It is a matter of honor and pride for "kukerite" to present the traditions of their ancestors                       Photos: Darin Yonchev


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