© The Financial Times Ltd 2016 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
Men dance in the icy winter waters of the Tundzha river in the town of Kalofer as part of the Epiphany Day celebrations. As a tradition, an Eastern Orthodox priest throws a cross in the river and it is believed that the one who retrieves it will be healthy through the year as well as all those who dance in the icy waters
An Orthodox priest leads an annual religious march marking the second day of Easter at the Bachkovo monastery in Bulgaria on Monday.
Bulgarian Pomak Muslims pose in front of their house as a relative throws sweets to the guests during their traditional winter wedding ceremony in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains
People drain their flooded houses in the neighbourhood of Asparuhovo in the Varna, Bulgaria, after torrential rain and heavy floods hit the Black Sea city
Believers pray around a cross-shaped platform covered with candles placed in jars of honey during a celebration of St Haralampi, protector of beekeepers, at the Church of the Blessed Virgin in Blagoevgrad, eastern Bulgaria
A Syrian girl attends classes at a makeshift school in the largest Bulgarian camp in the southern town of Harmanli. Humanitarian aid, including clothes, food and hygiene materials, has started trickling in from non-governmental groups in the country and abroad to the camps in the EU’s poorest country after the UN expressed alarm over a ‘human emergency’ on the EU’s southern fringe.
Bride Fatme Inus emerges to present herself to villagers towards the end of her two-day wedding to Mustafa Sirakov in Ribnovo, Bulgaria. The practice of painting the bride’s face white and decorating it with sequins and coloured paint called gelena in Bulgarian, is a tradition unique to Ribnovo, dating back centuries. Ribnovo weddings only take place in the winter and the entire village participates with group dances on the main square. Ribnovo, located in the mountains of southern Bulgaria, is predominantly inhabited by Pomaks, a Muslim ethnic minority who are the descendants of Christian Bulgarians who converted to Islam during the Ottoman rule.
Children wait to receive aid distributed by the Bulgarian Red Cross and the Medical University of Sofia at the recently opened Vrazhdebna refugee shelter in Sofia on Tuesday. More than 11,100 refugees, most of them Syrians, have entered Bulgaria illegally this year, crossing the porous 274 kilometre border with Turkey.
Refugee children from Syria try to stay warm near an open fire in front of their unheated tents in a refugee camp in the town of Harmanli, Bulgaria
Students in gas masks and carrying cardboard fake guns demonstrate in front of the parliament in Sofia, Bulgaria, on Wednesday. Thousands of people joined rallies against corruption, low incomes and high unemployment, raising pressure on the Socialist-led government in the European Union’s poorest country.
A Syrian refugee holds a baby in a refugee camp in the town of Harmanli, southeast of Sofia on Tuesday. Bulgaria’s asylum centres are severely overcrowded after the arrival of almost 10,000 refugees this year, half of them from Syria.
Syrian children play on a tree as they wait for the distribution of food outside a refugee centre in Sofia on Tuesday.
Members of an international religious movement called the White Brotherhood perform a ritual dance near Babreka lake, in the Rila Mountain, about 100 km south of Sofia, Bulgaria, as part of their New Year celebrations. The teaching of the movement, whose founder is Peter Danov, is a synthesis of Christianity and Hinduism with a heavy emphasis on brotherly love, a healthy diet and living in harmony with nature
Children play in a dam to cool off as a heatwave strikes Sofia. Temperatures in Bulgaria reached 39 degrees Celsius on Monday.
A pregnant woman reads a book as she sits on an empty boulevard in central Sofia, Bulgaria on the sidelines of protests to try to prevent lawmakers from entering parliament and to press for the government’s resignation. However lawmakers succeeded in opening parliament for the first time this week.
A man takes a rest next to a wall covered with ripped pre-election posters of Boyko Borisov, the leader of the Bulgarian conservative GERB party and a former prime minister, in a Sofia suburb. Bulgaria faced fresh political uncertainty on Monday after tough guy ex-premier Mr Borisov fell way short of a majority in elections held three months after mass demonstrations forced his government’s resignation.