2021 / People / Culture (Non-Pro)

Bears Dance

  • Photographer
    Ionut Burloiu

The ritual of dancing bears is a custom passed down from generations in Comanesti (eastern part of Romania). The dance took place on the final day of a week-long festival of winter traditions held between Christmas and New Year's villages, singing and dancing to ward off the evil. Dressed in a bear fur, which could weight up to 60 kilograms, the villagers go from house to house, play Bear's Dance and make wishes for the coming year. Today the bears are protected animals and the bear skins used are passed down from generation to generation.