Dozens of people dressed up in genuine bearskins, traditional outfits and wearing masks paraded through the streets of Vaslui, in the eastern part of Romania, on Monday.

Footage shows dancers wearing costumes made from bearskins, decorated with hanging red tassels, grunting and swaying to the melodies of pan flutes and rhythm of drums.

The festival organiser, Lucian Onciu, explained: "The bands of masked carolers, their diversity, meaning "goats", "bears", "elders", "uglies", as we like to call them, have the main purpose of warding off the evil spirits, and to help us enter the new year cleansed, first of all, from a spiritual perspective. If we succeed in this or not, it is only up to 2020 to confirm."

The tradition originated in pre-Christian times and aims at warding off evil spirits with bear being a symbol of good luck.

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