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RAI Uno makes a film about mummers in Pernik

Date: 29.01.2006

For three days Pernik will be the European carnival center. Masked people from all over the continent gathered yesterday in the miner's town. Seven groups from Italy, Northern Ireland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania and Macedonia will line up in a merry procession during the 16th International Carnival which will take place on Saturday and Sunday. The freezing cold scared only the Polish group - they gave up their participation at the last moment.

The Italian Rai Uno TV will shoot a documentary about the unique pageant and show it to the European spectators.

The masked foreigners have no right to take part in the competition. Eighty-four Bulgarian groups will vie for the awards. Some 5,000 mummers, New Year's well-wishers, dervishes, etc. will chase the evil spirits away with their scary masks and bells' chime. They will demonstrate the ancient pagan rituals performed by our ancestors every winter and spring.

Our forerunners believed that the higher mummers jump the higher will be the wheat crop, and the futher away bells chime dies down, the further away evil spirits will run. President of the Foundation of the European Carnival Cities (FECC) Henry Van der Kroon will attend the event. Pernik joined the organization in 1995. The first carnival in the miner's town was held in the distant 1966 when 60,000 spectators came to see the 1,355 masked people at the then Minyor stadium.

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