Romanians Welcome The New Year Dressed As Burly Bears

Cierra Bailey
A historic winter tradition has lived on in Romania in which people dress up as bears and perform a special ritual to ward off evil.

In a very interesting way to celebrate the New Year, Romanians took to the streets dressed as bears.

Check Out: Weird New Year's Superstitions From Around The World

Romania new year bear dress ritual

Not sweet, cuddly bears but very scary teeth-baring kind of bears.

In pre-Christian tradition, the bear was considered sacred and a festival of singing and dancing to ward off evil would take place in northern parts of Romania. 

new year bear dress

In later years, gypsies would bring bears on leashes through villages and receive payment and goods for having the bears walk on people's backs to cure ailments, according to LiveOutdoors.

Romania new year bear dress

Modern-day Romanians carry on the tradition with a parade and special events consisting of ritual dances and performances.

The celebrations are usually held in small, rural villages but they’ve recently expanded to larger cities where some go to perform the ritual for money, according to Mashable

Romania new year celebration

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Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @PositiveRomania