THE WALL STREET JOURNAL : TRADITIONAL BRIDE: Muslim bride Fatme Kichukova had her makeup applied in Ribnovo, Bulgaria, Sunday. The remote village has kept the tradition alive, despite decades of Communist persecution. Pomaks, Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule, resurrected the practice. (Stoyan Nenov/Reuters)
A Bulgarian Muslim bride has her make-up applied during her wedding ceremony in a remote village in the Rhodope Mountains, some 210km south of Sofia. This particular wedding ritual was first practiced by Pomaks, Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule. The highlight of the ceremony is the painting of the bride's face, where, in a private rite open only to female in-laws, her face is covered in thick, chalky white paint and decorated with colourful sequins.