Winter traditions: Bear game

The preparation of the bear enjoys a special attention in Bucovina. In the Campulung Moldovenesc region, the form of the bear head is obtained by laying a veal skin over a metal bucket, meanwhile at Bosanci and Udesti it is used as support a metal structure, over which a veal or lamb skin is being put, as Maria Margineanu, manager of the Bucovina Ethnographic Museum has explained to us. From neck down, the body of the person dressed as bear is covered by fur, directed sewed on the clothes or sewed on a costume which can be easily dressed. The bear game is the most spectacular from all the animals games found in the Bucovina groups. The bears are playing at the order of the bear leader, handsome young persons, dressed in very coloured clothes, on a back holding a mantle and on the head having military caps on which spheres decorated with mirrors and globes are being glued. Under the commend of the bear leaders, the bears play in a circle, roll over, kick the ground with their feet and finally die. Than, they miraculously return to life, moment that metaphorically  shows the seasons succession which, under the Bucovina belief, stands under the sign of an animal, capable to defeat winter and which knows when spring actually arrives. Source: