Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bulgarians Enjoy A Pagan Masquerade

Pernik, Feb 03: The 16th annual international festival of masquerade games took place in Pernik over the last weekend of January (January 28-29).

About five thousand people gathered in the town thirty kilometers from Bulgaria's capital Sofia to enjoy a traditional masquerade known in Bulgaria as "Kukeri" or "Survakari".

Bulgarian festivals and customs date back to ancient times when men tried to appease the natural elements and trembled before their power. With its colored masks and costumes, the Kurkeri carnival marks the beginning of spring.

Participants wear costumes made of fur, hemp and feathers, as well as grotesque huge and tall masks. Scary faces, witches carrying a headless doll in a basket, and a lot of noise contribute to frighten children. Full Story

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