The Cuckoos’ Day

 

Ziua Cucilor (The Cuckoos’ Day) is a traditional festival taking place in Branesti, Romania, which celebrates the beginning of spring by bringing together various communities both from Romania and Bulgaria. These groups put on phantasmagorical masks and costumes to perform theatrical actions which remind of older ceremonies regarding baptism, wedding, death or revival.

The name derives from the cuckoo bird, whose singing is a symbol of the arrival of spring, as the main and defining character of the festival. During the celebration, some men dress up in clothes and accessories borrowed from women, while others costume themselves as mythological creatures or daily life characters, becoming part of a grand parade which fills the village’s main road and entertains the eyes of the spectators.