Traditional Wedding Ceremony in Bulgaria

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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Bulgarian Muslim bride Fikrie Bindzheva poses during her wedding ceremony in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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Bulgarian Muslims bride Fikrie Bindzheva (C left) dances next to her groom Azim Liumankov during their wedding ceremony in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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A general view shows the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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Women watch the wedding ceremony of Bulgarian Muslims Fikrie Bindzheva and Azim Liumankov in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains, February 15, 2015. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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Bulgarian Muslim women chat 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 15, 2015. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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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. (Photo by Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)

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