Romanian villagers enjoy un-bear-lievable festive tradition

Footage captured in Comanesti on Saturday shows villagers donning bearskin costumes to perform a ritual warding off evil spirits and bring in good fortune in the period between Christmas and New Year. Dancers wore costumes made from bearskins, decorated with hanging red tassels, grunting and swaying to the rhythm of drums and melodies of pan flutes. The tradition originated among the Roma... Еще community of gypsies. Bear cubs would walk on peoples backs to alleviate back pain and, as they got older, the bears would be made to dance on hot plates. The ritual was later adapted by ethnic Romanians into what can be seen today. In September, the government in Bucharest ended a ban on the hunting of bears following a rise in the number of attacks on humans. Conservationists on the other hand claim that hunting increases the frequency of attacks and leads to more bears entering populated areas.

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