Here’s a fascinating card from Bulgaria! Don’t be scared, my friends – these guys are here to save the day! Shown are the mummers of Bulgaria, which are also known as kukeri. If you’re not familiar with mummering, it’s a type of parading involving song, dance, skits, and some extremely gaudy and elaborate costumes. They have mummer parades each year in Philadelphia. So in Bulgaria, there are the kukeri – pronounced as “KOO-kuh-ree” – whose rituals take place during the last days of winter (in salutation to the spring to come). As you can see, the participants of kukeri rituals spend a ton of time crafting out some really crazy and scary costumes and masks. However, they’re there not to scare away other people, but to scare away the evil spirits, sickness and poverty! Full-body costumes and crazy masks are a must. It’s also customary for the participants to wear humongous bells around their waist, so as they dance through the villages, they make a ton of noise. I don’t think any evil spirits would want beef with these guys. Each of the panels here show kukeri from different parts of Bulgaria. Going from left to right, top to bottom, here’s where each set of mummers represent from: Breznik (western Bulgaria); Pernik (a tad east of Breznik); Zemen (a tad west of it; these three are all part of Pernik province); Yambol (kind of southeastern Bulgaria); Karlovo (center of the country); and finally Burgas (far eastern part of the country). As one intrigued by the bizarre, I’m in deep admiration of this. If I hear these guys arrive at my town, I’ll be even more excited than if it was the ice cream truck. Thank you so much again for another SUPER postcard, Gergana!