UNESCO Won't Drop Bulgaria's Fire-Dancing Ritual - FinMin
UNESCO will certainly not exclude Bulgaria's Nestinartsvo fire-dancing ritual from its list List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the country's Finance Minister Simeon Djankov has assured.
An expert from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences' institute of ethnology recently expressed her concerns that the ritual may be dropped from the list, as she believes it is no longer carried out in an authentic manner.
Expert Ruzha Neykova pointed out that "all kinds of people" are now gathering at the place of the ritual, some of them binge drinking.
Djankov witnessed the ritual in the village of Balgari, local media inform. The ritual was captured on camera by a Japanese UNSECO team.
The Nestinarstvo fire-dancing rite is the climax of the annual Panagyr ritual on the feast days of Saints Constantine and Helena (3 and 4 June) in the village of Balgari, in the Mount Strandzha region of south-east Bulgaria.
The ritual is held to ensure the well-being and fertility of the village. In the evening, people silently form a circle around the burning embers led by the sacred drum, and the Nestinari, who are spiritual and physical leaders through whom the saints express their will, begin entering the circle and treading the embers.
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