First Koukeri Day in the World Outside of Bulgaria

24.Mar.2007 Even in our wildest dreams we could not have hoped for a greater success of our hard preparation efforts for the celebration of the Koukeri Day. Based on the many Koukeri festivities we had watched and on the quite a few descriptions and analyses of the Koukeri Day we had read, we extracted what is common and essential for the custom in the entire country, and created our own scenario. Our viewers approved it ecstatically and confirmed that “that was exactly how” the rite is performed in their particular regions of Bulgaria: Accompanied by the musicians, we gathered in the village square and from there we headed for a round of the houses. The hosts greeted us with home bread and wine, and we blessed them for health and prosperity. Then we shaved the Master of the house the “koukeri way”, chased away the evil spirits from all corners of the property, and the Bride swept the front yard. After that we returned to the village centre, where again, with swords and bell ringing we fought off the Evil. The Bride got pregnant by the Groom. This was followed by the ritual ploughing and wheat sowing to ensure a rich time ahead. The Tsar blessed the congregation and rolled the grain pot to try and foretell what the coming year would be like. The pot came to a stop on its bottom – a sign for a great harvest and increased riches. Upon that, the Koukeri killed the Tsar (a symbol of the Sun and the passing year) so that, just like the Sun and the coming year, he can be resurrected and the Wheel of Life can continue its eternal spinning. The Bride gave birth to a child, and the celebrations went on with a big circle dance.

Need we tell you how the Koukeri Day celebrations went on? Well, it was the usual abundance of our great folk music, dances, food and partying till midnight.