The 'Kukeri' ritual of Bulgaria, January 15

15 Jan 2014

According to Chinese folklore about the Lunar New Year, people donned red robes and lit firecrackers in ancient times to scare off a mythical evil beast called ‘Nian’ and win themselves a peaceful and prosperous year.  More than 7,000 km to the West, in the Eastern European nation of Bulgaria, a similar folk ritual involves people dancing around a bonfire to scare away evil spirits. "Kukeri" is a pagan ritual of Thracian origins, performed between Christmas and Lent, by costumed men in sheepskin garments, bells and scary masks.