The only things I know about this picture are that it’s Bulgarian, and that it’s freaking awesome.
Okay, actually… No. I do know what it is. It’s a Kukeri costume, used in a ritual to scare away evil spirits. So, basically… Bulgarian Halloween, except done close to New Year’s. Some say the Kukeri tradition dates back as much as 4,000 years, with its origins in Dionysian fertility rituals. What concerns our Halloweeny pea brains today, though, is the wide variety of spectacularly weird costumes!
I only wish American Halloween looked even half as cool.
(Those last two pictures, by the way, come from a photo essay you can see here: http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-when-monsters-come-out-play-bulgaria . In addition to some great pictures of monster costumes, it’s got a good short history of Kukeri, with lots of interesting details about the fertility rites associated with the festival. GO! READ! LEARN!)