Sunday, January 23, 2011

Razlog Kukeri Festival

On the 15th of January the city of Razlog hosted the 4th International Kukeri Festival!

"Kukeri" is an ancient Bulgarian tradition dating back to ancient pagan times, when it was believed the masks and costumes had the power to protect their wearers against evil.  

It doesn't seem like a tradition that would be so wide spread in Bulgarian culture but it is and a sight to see. Towns and villages gather people to perform in the parade and in the square where they dance. The village I live in performed with horo dancers and men in costume.  

Myself and some other PCVs from the region met in Razlog to watch the parade/event which lasted about four or five hours.  (We took a lunch break in the middle.) This was my first Kukeri Festival to attend (no idea where I was last year!) and a lot of fun! There were hundreds of people gathered in the square to watch which made it hard to take good pictures.  But with a little bit of pushing and shoving... well, here you are.

The following pictures are the groups from Bansko and my village....

1 comment:

Vicki said...

Isn't it amazing that there is still so much interest in a tradition that no one much believes in any more...maybe it's because they invested so much in the hairy man costumes back in the day and this is the only day of the year they get to pull them out of the closet. Yep, I am a student of culture and this is the best I can come up with...