St. Lucia Day, Sofia University

Santa Lucia
Santa Lucia

„In Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, Lucy (called Lucia) is venerated on December 13 in a ceremony where the eldest girl in a family, portraying Lucia, walks, with a crown of candles, ahead of a procession of other women holding a candle each. The candles symbolize the fire that refused to take her life. The women sing a Lucia song while entering the room, to the melody of the traditional Neapolitan song Santa Lucia, still well-known through the recording by Enrico Caruso but, whereas the Italian lyrics describe the beautiful view from the harbour area Santa Lucia in Naples, the various Scandinavian lyrics are fashioned for the occasion, describing the light with which Lucia overcomes the darkness. Each Scandinavian country has their own lyrics in their native tongues although commonly it is the melody of Neapolitan which is used. After finishing this song, the procession usually continue by singing Christmas carols or more songs about Lucia.“ – Wikipedia

Village of Ribnovo & gypsy kids

Curiosity
Curiosity

Ribnovo is a large village (by Bulgarian standards) on the end of a road in the western Rhodope mountains, some 30 kilometers from Gotse Delchev. This village is renouned for its preserved traditions and colorful dress codes. In this gallery there also are some shots of gypsy kids in another village near Gotse Delchev.

Bee eater colony in northern BG

bee eater
A bee eater in flight

These are a few shots taken at a bee eater colony location in Northern Bulgaria. These birds are renowned for their bright colors and are often photographed by bird photographers and enthusiasts.
Photographing birds is not an easy task, to say the least. Patience is the thing of greatest importance here and I’ve found to lack that. Using a Canon 100-400 F4-5.6L, coupled with a 1.4 TC converter and a 1.6x crop factor DSLR available, gave me an effective length of 400×1.4×1.6 = 896mm ! Well, damn those tiny birds, that turned not to be enough in most of the situations. Next time I’m shooting condors ! 🙂 The bee eaters nested in two parallel sandy cliffs, probably formed by a flash flood or a past creek. The nests are burrowed in the soft banks, far from predators, though we saw a snake managed to get in, I assume lured by the eggs. The idea is to set up a tent on the rim of one of the banks and leave it there for a day or two for the birds to get used to. After that use it for a hiding shelter, hopefully getting a bird perched on a branch close enough for a good shot.