2000 Mummers Gather for Kukeri Festival in Southwest Bulgaria
The small southwestern town of Simitli hosted Saturday a huge festival of "kukeri", or mummers, a beloved Bulgarian folklore tradition with roots from Ancient Thrace.
The Kukeri ritual is performed between Christmas and Lent by costumed men with scary animal masks, who walk around and dance to scare away the evil spirits, as well as to provide a good harvest, health, fertility, and happiness. Similar rituals can also be found in Romania, Serbia, Italy and Spain.
Over 2000 kukeri from a total of 15 groups Southwestern Bulgaria - from Blagoevgrad, Petrich, Kyustendil – as well as from Karlovo in central Bulgaria and from the town of Berovo in Macedonia – gathered in Simitli for the traditional dances.
They attracted some 10 000 spectators - more than the actual population of the town.
The youngest mummer was a one-year-old kid, and the oldest – an 85-year-old man.
In Southwestern Bulgaria the mummers, or kukeri, are also known as "babugeri".
The kukeri tradition is performed all over Bulgaria; one of the most famous performance is the Surva Festival in the city of Pernik, to the west of Sofia.
More about the Bulgarian folklore tradition "Kukeri" READ HERE
Mummers aged from 1 to 85 gathered in Simitli Saturday. Photo by BGNES
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