This particular one is a bit special though, because it marks the beginning of the coldest season by... plunging the "horo" into the frozen waters of a small river! It's done exceptionally by men (for understandable physiological reasons), and it's meant to send wishes to the God(s?) for health and prosperity throughout the new year. First the leader of the horo goes in to break the ice, then the drummers enter and start the rhythm, and the rest follow, normally by order of seniority. The whole thing lasts for about 10 minutes, and is preceded and then followed by feasts, eating a lot of meat and of course drinking a lot of wine and rakia. Anyway, behold the weirdness!
(Warning! Do not try this at home without proper preparation! And by that, I do mean industrial amounts of alcohol conveniently infused into your blood system!)
This horo is from the small mountain town of Kalofer, home to legendary revolutionaries, and considered part of the historical heartland of the country. The ritual has been there for many years, and it has been attracting ever growing crowds each year.
This of course brings us to the next local tradition, the Kukeri, an even more ancient tradition which we talked about a while ago.