Bulgarian Kukeri Scare away Evil on 1st Day of 2014
Bulgaria's Kukeri tradition has kicked off on the first day of the new year in the southwestern city of Blagoevgrad and the town of Razlgog.
In both locations, Kukeri or mummers, practitioners of a beloved Bulgarian folklore tradition with roots from Ancient Thrace, walked in costumes and visited homes. In Razlog, each neighborhood organized its own ritual.
The Kukeri rite is performed in Bulgaria between Christmas and Lent by costumed men with animal masks who walk around and dance to scare away the evil spirits and to provide a good harvest, health, fertility, and happiness.
Similar rituals can also be found in Romania, Serbia, Italy and Spain.