Stay away from evil in 2022, Romanian citizens wear bear costumes

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The drumming, which began early Thursday morning, heralded the arrival of hundreds of people, dressed in real bear fur costumes and still tied, pouring into the northern Romanian city of Comanesti.

This is a tradition dating back to pre-Christian times, when dancers wearing colorful costumes or fur costumes went from house to house in villages, singing and dancing to ward off evil. The weight of a bear costume for an adult, including the head of a bear, reaches about 40 kilograms. The price per costume reaches 2,000 euros, or about $2,400.

Locals fear the tradition will be lost as large numbers of young Romanians leave the region in search of a better life in the wealthier European Union countries.

One Comanesti resident said it would be “shameful” to “lose” this tradition and skip the famous “bear dance”. [em/rs]

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