Author Topic: Surva - The Winter Masquerade Rituals of Bulgaria  (Read 636 times)

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Offline Jetavan

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Surva - The Winter Masquerade Rituals of Bulgaria
« on: December 28, 2010, 06:46:07 PM »
Apparently, Surva is undergoing a revival of sorts:

Masquerade rituals can be seen all over Bulgaria to this day. In latter years the interest in masquerade rituals in Bulgaria is undergoing a boom. Perhaps the inspiration has come from the largest festival of this kind held in the town of Pernik near the capital city. This “Surva” Festival gathers masquerade groups from all over Bulgaria marching, dancing and singing in the streets for days on end. Formations from different countries round the world join the Pernik event, showing through their performances various carnival traditions. The festival takes place every other year in mid-January....
   Each place in the country has its characteristic masques. In South west Bulgaria masque rituals are called “Surva”; the masque dancers – “Survakari”, “Mechkari” meaning bear keepers or “Startsi” meaning old men. Even though named differently and looking different, what they have in common is that the masques resemble fierce or fantastic animals. The ancient significance of the ritual was to chase the evil spirits of the outgoing year away by scaring them off and to awake life-bringing forces for the new farm season. In some of the villages people make the masques out of fur and horns of domestic and wild animals. In others they make them out of feathers from different kinds of birds. Local men used to make their own costumes and masques. They follow an ancient tradition and yet put all their imagination and creativity in the making of the apparel....
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 06:46:50 PM by Jetavan »
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