What is a Kuker?

According to the legends, the Kuker represents a very scary and colorful creature whose main purpose is to push away the evil spirits. Nowadays they are elaborately costumed Bulgarian men who perform traditional rituals intended to scare away evil spirits. The costumes cover most of the body and include decorated wooden masks of animals (sometimes double-faced) and large bells (called Chans) attached to the belt.They perform ritual dances which generates a very specific sound from the bells which is believed to be the sound scaring away the evil spirits. Nowadays there are Kuker festivals organized annually, they are usually in the beginning of the year so that the whole year would be happy free of evil creatures and spirits. The real Kukers look like that:

Kukers in Bio-Bulgaart: