Mummers arouse women at night in the Rhodope village Zabardo

Young boys and bachelors in the Rhodope village Zabardo drive away the evil spirits and arouse the women in the village every night of the 13th to March 14. The tradition is called Old Martha and commands young people to dress as mummers with sleeved scary masks and bells tail. As far the rings are heard as far will stay the evil forces during the next year.

mummers zaburdo

The beginning of the celebration is placed at about 3:00 a.m. when young men began to go round the houses in the village singing loud songs. In gratitude for expelling evil away from their homes, the owners give them small amounts of money, eggs, wines and brandy. The holiday is dedicated to the coming spring, and the ritual is repeated from time immemorial.

mummers zaburdo

According to the tradition, every single man must make himself his mask and it must cease embodies his demon. It is believed that through the ritual boys become men. Originally bells, whose sound drives away the evil forces bedeck only the most personal lad in the village, who was called “mashmarok.” In recent years, however, the bells are carried from most of the mummers in the group.

mummers zaburdo
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