Performers dressed in bear skins dancing during an end of year festival. People in Trotus Valley dress into bear skins and dance to chase away bad luck and bring happiness and blessing to their village. People believed that bears can heal illnesses and bring strength to them.

The drumbeats start early in the morning, heralding the arrival of hundreds of people who descend on villages near the Moldavian border, dressed as bears, in full body costumes made from real fur, with the bear heads attached.

It's a tradition that originated in pre-Christian times, when dancers wearing colored costumes or animal furs went from house to house in villages, singing and dancing to ward off evil.

A bear costume for an adult, with the head included, weighs up to 40 kilograms and costs up to 2,000 euros.

Locals fear the tradition may disappear as large numbers of youngsters leave the area looking for better lives.
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