Young celebrants wear long-haired goatskins in the mountain village of Razlog, Bulgaria. Traditionally reserved for
young men, the Kukeri (or Survakari) costume today may be worn by young boys – and occasionally by girls. Jodi Hilton
Tomi Egmenchov, a member of his neighborhood’s Survakari troupe, paints details on a large mask typical of his village,
Yardzhilovtsi, where masks are worn on Jan. 14, the Julian calendar’s New Year. Jodi Hilton
Using what’s at hand In Elovdol, Bulgaria, a participant wears a mask made out of painted pantyhose. Jodi Hilton
Kukeri in Razlog parade through their village accompanied by dancers and drummers. Along their route, they are welcomed by neighbors offering food and drink. Jodi Hilton
Traditional Bulgarian hora dancing accompanies performances by various neighborhood Kukeri groups as part of New
Year’s celebrations in Razlog. Jodi Hilton
A Survakari procession passed through the village of Elovdol on Jan. 13, the eve of the Julian New Year. Jodi Hilton
The "bride and groom" are applauded as they leave the "bride's house," in the village of Elovdol, in the region of Pernik. A mock wedding is part of an elaborate series of rituals during this celebratory season in many Bulgarian villages. Jodi Hilton
Masked boys, known locally as Kukeri, wear goat-skin costumes and headdresses almost as tall as themselves. They are believed to help bring good omens for the New Year. Jodi Hilton
An accordionist is dressed in advance of the towns mock-wedding. A mock wedding is part of an elaborate series of rituals during this celebratory season in many Bulgarian villages. Jodi Hilton
Youth in Yardzhilovtsi form roadblocks demanding money as part of their village celebrations. Jodi Hilton
In Lobush a visiting troupe performs a thousands-year old ritual with bigger and more dramatic costumes. In recent decades, the Surva masks, made of feathers or furs, are becoming more dramatic as a result of competitive annual festivals. Jodi Hilton
Aid organizations working in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea have had to evacuate staff and suspend wide-ranging projects, while also pitching in for the emergency effort. But not all aid initiatives are on hold.
Back in May, when the Ebola virus first crossed over from Guinea into Sierra Leone, among the first to know were staffers working for a US-based charity on a child malnutrition project in the country’s east.