Chasing Away Evil Spirits in Bulgaria

Each year, people across Bulgaria gather in Blagoevgrad to partake in the annual Kukeri Festival. Draped in elaborate costumes made from long goat hair, participants dance away the evil through a procession involving the ringing of bells. Dancers wear carved wooden masks that depict the faces of beasts and jump in a centuries-old ritual intended to drive away evil spirits. Desislava Ilieva started attending festivals as a child and now continues to uphold her family’s tradition by wearing costumes handmade by her father.