In an isolated mountainous village in Southern Bulgaria lives a close-knit Muslim community that prides itself in its centuries old traditions and culture. To visit Ribnovo is to step into ancient life, into a village so strongly bound by its ancestors that the fate of residence is decided through centuries. This is a truly exquisite occurrence for, as the world grows more and more modern, tradition is what offers the Ribnovo security and stability. Perhaps the greatest example of the cultural integrity of this village are traditional Ribnovo weddings that bask in customs created hundreds of years ago. And especially the meticulously ornamented Ribnovo brides whose makeup is as symbolic as it is beautiful.
At first glance, Ribnovo brides look as if they are decorated for fancy dresses. Their faces are painted and they are unrecognizable. But there is a deeper meaning at play here. On the day of her wedding, a lady from the village will come to decorate and prepare the bride. Her face is painted white with cream. Thereafter, beautiful, shiny and delicate sequins are put on her face. This is said to amplify the bridal beauty.
Another reason is that this get-up renders the bride practically unrecognizable. This is an important aspect because, as they say, brides are in a fragile phase and are more vulnerable to evil eyes.
After their makeup is complete, Ribnovo brides keep their eyes closed during the ceremony. This helps them further avoid any bad omens or evil eyes that can catch up to them in this delicate state.
The sequins play an important role not only in the bride’s, but also in the groom’s life. After the wedding, the groom removes the sequins one by one. This teaches him tenderness and gentility, two principles to start the journey of a lifetime with.
Ribnovo brides have one of the most peculiarly detailed and beautiful makeup looks in the world. It is said that a woman looks her most beautiful as a bride, and the colorful and ornate sequins only exemplify the natural beauty.
You’ll also like the beautiful makeup of Kosovar brides.