Romanian Bear Festival Romanian Bear Festival


Comănești, Romania

And you thought your New Year's Eve was weird.... Everyone's had to make their own fun this year but turns out the Romanians have cornered the market for weird NYE traditions.

If we weren't living in the end times, Romanian gypsies would've been dressing up in bear suits and dancing in the streets 🐻

Some cultures have all the fun…

Ursul Festival is now held across Romania but started in the Trotus Valley some 2000 years ago.

Back in the old days the Roma gypsies would bring real life captive bears down to the villages and make them dance on hot metal sheets for tips (yikes!).

Luckily someone realised this was v cruel (!) and now the gypsies dress up in bear skins and do the dancing themselves 💃

The dancing marks the (premature) arrival of Spring and warns off evil spirits from the villages, plus it looks like a whole lot of fun…

The locals judge the dancing and costumes, and everyone drinks, feasts and does their best Baloo impression.

You can usually see it all if you head to Comănești in the Trotus Valley - about a five hour drive from Bucharest.