It’s colourful, it’s loud and it is filled with centuries of tradition. This is the Surva Festival in the Pernik region, the oldest masquerade event in Bulgaria.
After a three-year break due to the pandemic, the performers, known as Kukeri, are back.
"The dances are aimed at scaring away the evil, it is what all the performers at the festival have in common. Their performances express a feeling of magic, of mystery; after all, evil is always with us, although it remains invisible," says Nadya Manolova a history professor from the University of Sofia.
"On the other hand, there is the fire and the sound of the copper bells calling on people to unite in the fight for good, and attracting many young people, including children, to participate, though once that was not part of the traditions," she added.
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