As the world uses New Year’s Eve as a time for celebration, excitement and reflection, in Romania it is custom for locals to mark it slightly differently – by dressing up as dancing bears to ward off evil spirits.
In a bizarre ritual every December between Christmas and New Year, Roma gypsies living in Comăneşti, 300km north of Bucharest, in Bacău County, an area known as the Trotus Valley put on real bear skins and parade through the streets.
The festival called Ursul – which is replicated across the country – originated from an ancient Indo-European tribe known as the Geto-Dacians, who believed bears were sacred.
- Romani gypsies dress up in real bear skins and parade through the streets of the central Trotus Valley, Romania
- Bears are sacred creatures in Romanian mythology, and thought they have the power to protect and heal people
- In bizarre ritual dating back centuries, villagers put on bearskins and gather to chase away cursed and evil spirits
- Based on tradition when gypsies used to come down from the forest with real bears on leads to entertain crowds
Festive: Gypsies living in Romania celebrate New Year by dressing in bearskins and taking to the streets to ward off evil spirits. Here, Roma people living in Comăneşti, 300km north of Bucharest, in Bacău County, an area known as the Trotus Valley, are pictured at the ceremony
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3372035/Pictured-extraordinary-Romanian-gypsy-dancing-bears-wear-streets-New-Year-ward-evil-spirits.html#ixzz3w7gFPwQC
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