Bulgarian Muslims hold winter wedding ritual

This is how a Bulgarian Muslim bride prepares for her wedding

LOCATION: Ribnovo, Bulgaria

Kimile Avdinova’s face is painted with thick white paint

and decorated with colorful sequins

The tradition is part of the wedding ritual

that's been kept alive for hundreds of years

(SOUNDBITE) (Bulgarian) MAYOR OF RIBNOVO, MUSTAFA ISA, SAYING:"The highlight of the wedding is when the bride is about to be taken to the groom's house, the women apply makeup to her so that when she goes to the groom's house she doesn't look back. The purpose of this is, with the help of the Almighty, to never to think of going back, because in the end, marriage is exactly that, a person living a new life with their beloved one."

(SOUNDBITE) (Bulgarian) MAYOR OF RIBNOVO, MUSTAFA ISA, SAYING:"Traditional weddings in Ribnovo have always taken place like this. They were revived after the fall of communism and started to flourish. Because during communist times, our music, religious rites, and the costumes that the people in Ribnovo wore were all banned. This was an obstacle for us to live with our ideas and traditions. But for 30 years now, everything has been going well, which is very good."