Bulgarian dancers named "Kukeri" hold torches as they perform a ritual dance during the Kukeri Carnival in the village of Batanovci, western Bulgaria, on Sunday. The Kukeri Carnival is a festival of brightly colored wooden masks and costumes that marks the coming of spring. Participants make their own colorful masks, covered with beads, ribbons and woolen tassels. The heavy swaying of the main mummer is meant to represent wheat heavy with grain, and the bells tied around the waist are intended to drive away evil spirits and sickness.
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