Legend has it that the tradition of Kalofer “male dance” has existed since the time of Ottoman rule. The Ottoman authorities for the purposes of defending the people from the many robber bands created the so-called haramii – Bulgarian “haiduti” who guarded the roads and passages of bandits roaming the country. The haramii danced in the icy waters of the river to show how brave and strong they were while instilling respect and fear in the robbers. This unique ritual every year falls in the focus of world media.
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