Fatme Kichukova has her make-up applied during her wedding ceremony in the village of Ribnovo, in the Rhodope Mountains on December 11, 2011. The remote mountain village of Ribnovo in southwest Bulgaria has kept its traditional winter marriage ceremony alive despite decades of Communist persecution, followed by poverty that forced many men to seek work abroad. The wedding ritual was resurrected with vigor among the 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 colorful sequins. Muslims currently make up 10 percent of Bulgaria's 7.4 million population. (Stoyan Nenov/Reuters).From a group of 37 photos ("Scenes from Bulgaria") at The Big Picture.