'Dancing bears' fill Romanian streets in wild holiday tradition


From Christmas Eve until after the New Year, Romanians bring to life various rituals which often include costumes and masks evoking animals such as bears, horses or goats.

In pre-Christian rural traditions, these dancers wore colored costumes or animal furs and toured from house to house in villages singing and dancing to ward off evil.

Today, the tradition has moved to Romania's cities too, where dancers travel to perform the ritual for money.

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