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Winter Wedding - 22 Feb 2015
The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad.

The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins.

Clad in baggy pants and bodice shimmering in all the colors of the rainbow, Fikrie Bindzheva is presented by her future husband Azim Liumankov in front of their house during their wedding ceremony.
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQNU
February 16, 2015
Bulgarian Muslims Azim Liumankov (C left) and his bride Fikrie Bindzheva pose in front of their house...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Bulgarian Muslims Azim and his bride Fikrie pose in front of their house during their wedding ceremony...
Bulgarian Muslims Azim Liumankov (C left) and his bride Fikrie Bindzheva pose in front of their house during their wedding ceremony in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQNG
February 16, 2015
Bulgarian Muslims Azim Liumankov and his bride Fikrie Bindzheva pose in front of their house during their...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Bulgarian Muslims Azim and his bride Fikrie pose in front of their house during their wedding ceremony...
Bulgarian Muslims Azim Liumankov and his bride Fikrie Bindzheva pose in front of their house during their wedding ceremony in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQYU
February 16, 2015
Bulgarian Muslim women look at the dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Bulgarian Muslim women look at the dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie and...
Bulgarian Muslim women look at the dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQYP
February 16, 2015
Bulgarian Muslim women look at a dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Bulgarian Muslim women look at a dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie and Azim...
Bulgarian Muslim women look at a dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 14, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQYL
February 16, 2015
Women dance during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Women dance during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie and Azim in the village of Ribnovo...
Women dance during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 14, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQXT
February 16, 2015
Bulgarian Muslim women look at the dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Bulgarian Muslim women look at the dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie and...
Bulgarian Muslim women look at the dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQWB
February 16, 2015
A Bulgarian Muslim woman looks at the dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Bulgarian Muslim woman looks at the dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie and...
A Bulgarian Muslim woman looks at the dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQVR
February 16, 2015
A Bulgarian Muslim woman sits in front of a dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Bulgarian Muslim woman sits in front of a dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie...
A Bulgarian Muslim woman sits in front of a dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 14, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQVJ
February 16, 2015
Guests dance during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Guests dance during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie and Azim in the village of Ribnovo...
Guests dance during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 14, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQV2
February 16, 2015
Women dance during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Women dance during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie and Azim in the village of Ribnovo...
Women dance during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 14, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQTK
February 16, 2015
A general view shows the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
General view shows the village of Ribnovo
A general view shows the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQSB
February 16, 2015
Bulgarian Muslim youths carry the dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Bulgarian Muslim youths carry the dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie and Azim...
Bulgarian Muslim youths carry the dowry during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQRO
February 16, 2015
Children watch the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the village...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Children watch the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie and Azim in the village of Ribnovo
Children watch the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQPY
February 16, 2015
Musicians play instruments as guests dance during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Musicians play instruments as guests dance during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Bindzheva...
Musicians play instruments as guests dance during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQPV
February 16, 2015
Musicians play a traditional "zouria" instrument during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Musicians play a traditional "zouria" instrument during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie...
Musicians play a traditional "zouria" instrument during the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQPI
February 16, 2015
Bulgarian Muslims bride Fikrie Bindzheva dances next to her groom Azim Liumankov during their wedding...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Bulgarian Muslims bride Fikrie dances next to her groom Azim during their wedding ceremony in the village...
Bulgarian Muslims bride Fikrie Bindzheva dances next to her groom Azim Liumankov during their wedding ceremony in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQOQ
February 16, 2015
Bulgarian Muslims bride Fikrie Bindzheva (L) dances next to her groom Azim Liumankov during their wedding...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Bulgarian Muslims bride Fikrie dances next to her groom Azim during their wedding ceremony in Ribnovo...
Bulgarian Muslims bride Fikrie Bindzheva (L) dances next to her groom Azim Liumankov during their wedding ceremony in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQOO
February 16, 2015
Guests arrive for the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Azim Liumankov and his bride Fikrie Bindzheva...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Guests arrive for the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Liumankov and his bride Bindzheva in Ribnovo...
Guests arrive for the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Azim Liumankov and his bride Fikrie Bindzheva (not pictured) in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQOC
February 16, 2015
Bulgarian Muslim bride Fikrie Bindzheva poses during her wedding ceremony in the village of Ribnovo,...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Bulgarian Muslim bride Fikrie poses during her wedding ceremony in the village of Ribnovo
Bulgarian Muslim bride Fikrie Bindzheva poses during her wedding ceremony in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
BULGARIA-SOCIETY/
RTR4PQNL
February 16, 2015
Bulgarian Muslims Azim Liumankov (3rd L) and his bride Fikrie Bindzheva (3rd R) pose in front of their...
Ribnovo, Bulgaria
Bulgarian Muslims Azim and his bride Fikrie pose in front of their house as a relative throws sweets...
Bulgarian Muslims Azim Liumankov (3rd L) and his bride Fikrie Bindzheva (3rd R) pose in front of their house as a relative throws sweets to the guests during their wedding ceremony in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigour among the Pomaks - Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins. Picture taken February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (BULGARIA - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION)
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