See the Intricate Costumes of Bulgaria’s Kukeri Dancers | National Geographic


Around early winter or midwinter, groups of kukeri (pronounced KOO-kuh-ree) don elaborate costumes—complete with fantastical masks and belts of…


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  1. Every Slavic country has similar customs of bell ringers. Their purpose is always the same and they ring their bells in similar time of the year (end of winter). Due to harsh political and economic situations from ages past, local peasants had to find a way to accuse something or someone for their bad luck so usually it was the demons and evil spirits who got accused. Bellmen would drove them off. We have "Zvončari" in Rijeka, Croatia. This custom is ancient and we tend to preserve it.

  2. We in Austria have something similar called "Teufeltag" or Krampus' Day 🙂 People run around in furs and costumes made out of hay while wearing demonic masks. This is also done to chase away evil winter spirits.

  3. I am proud Bulgarian this is very very old and unique tradition once or twice in the year its not about the soviet or comunistic this is old like a thousand years this dance is barberian we are cristians but its part of our history so this is our honor for the past.With this dance our acestors chase the evil spirit and you need to wear ugly mask or bells as long as you with the most uglyest mask you are like a lider of all this guys …God Bless Bulgaria i love this dances some of the costumes are 70 kg with the bells this guys start training 6 months before you need to be very strong to dance 6 hours with this clothes

  4. Proto-european Haplogroup I2 is stretching from East Germany to the West to Moldova to the East, from Eastern Ukraine to the North to Northern Greece to the South. This is the basin of similar pre-christian traditions that still resist until today. It include ancient tribes of thracians, illyrians, getae, dacians, sarmatians, all of wich ancient greek settlers called "pelasgians" (people from the land, aboriginals to pre-greek Europe). No, they are not celtic, they are similar to scandinavians (Haplogroup I1) wich means they are before celtic invasion of Europe (the only haplogroup emerged on the continent after the last glacial age).

    – Halubian bell-ringers in Croatia;
    – Busojaras in Hungary;
    – Kukeri in Bulgaria;
    – Malanka in Ukraine;
    – Mascați in Romania and Moldova;
    … all of these winter-pagan traditions have the same roots in pre-greek history, in ancient times before written history. Folklore also, mythology / bedtime stories also.

    What we see in this clip is thracian culture and slavic culture mixed together to form an European real tradition, a true multiculturalism by definition. No, we don't need artificial multiculturalism in Europe, WE ARE MULTICULTURAL BY NATURE.

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