Travel

Photographer captures still-practiced Pagan rituals of Europe
Photographer Charles Fréger spent two years journeying through 18 European countries to document still-practiced pagan rituals. Here is a selection of his images. 
">

Wilder_Mann_006

Wilder Mann 6, 2010 

The Krampus, a legend in Alpine countries, is said to punish misbehaving children during the winter Yule season. In contrast, Saint Nicholas, rewards well-behaved children with gifts.

(Charles Fréger)

article920_large

Caretos, Lazarim, Portugal, 2010-2011

“I found myself in front of something very radical, no face,” said Fréger.“It was more of a character with a mask and a focus where the body is more important than the face itself.”

(Charles Fréger)

Wilder_Mann_092

Wilder Mann 92, 2010 

Initially Fréger planned on covering 12 countries, but the more he worked on the project, the more he found himself traveling.

(Charles Fréger)

efwefwfg

Laufr (Jumper), Třebič, Czech Republic, 2010–2011

Fréger said many of the traditions had a lot in common, regardless of the country they came from.

(Charles Fréger)

Wilder_Mann_025

Wilder Mann 25, Wilder Mann , 2010 

In full-length portraits, the artist's photographs show celebrants enveloped in traditional costumes, crafted from layers of animal skins, local plants, bones and antlers.

(Charles Fréger)

wgwsdfbsfhedh

Babugeri, Bansko, Bulgaria, 2010–2011

Fréger first saw a costumed “Wild Man” while watching a friend’s show in Lyon, France.

(Charles Fréger)

dgdsgvsfbsbsb

Cerbul (Stag), Corlata, Romania, 2010-2011

Fréger said many of the traditions are full of joy.

(Charles Fréger)

sdfgvsgdvsvsv

Ursul (Bear), Palanca, Romania, 2010–2011

The Pagan concept of a “Wild Man” is based on changing seasons and rites of passage.

(Charles Fréger)

large_charles_freger_boes_ottana_sardinia_italy_2010

Boes, Ottana, Sardinia, Italy, 2010

“There was a slight touch of universality because a lot of the groups were doing something similar without knowing one another," said Fréger.

(Charles Fréger)

large_charles_freger_macinula_cisiec_poland_2010

Macinula, Cisiec, Poland, 2010

"Many of the festivities were focused on animals and vegetation, you could photograph someone dressed like a bear for example in Portugal or Spain or Romania. To me this was really exciting and interesting,” said Fréger.

(Charles Fréger)

Photographer captures still-practiced Pagan rituals of Europe

Photographer Charles Fréger spent two years journeying through 18 European countries to document still-practiced pagan rituals. Here is a selection of his images. 

More From Our Sponsors