With animal hide costumes and banging drums, the western Algerian town of Beni Snous noisily celebrated the new year _ and an ancient military victory over the pharaoh _ with a traditional Berber Ayred festival

A disguised man parades in the village of Beni Snous, south of Tlemcen, Algeria, Thursday, Dec.11, 2018. Algerians in the Beni Snous region dress in elaborate animal-hide costumes and parade through town with traditional instruments as part of the Ayred festival. (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul)

By ANIS BELGHOUL - Associated Press
Saturday, January 13th 2018, 19:23 pm EDT

BENI SNOUS, Algeria (AP) — New Year's celebrations come in all shapes and sizes.

With animal hide costumes and banging drums, the western Algerian town of Beni Snous has noisily celebrated the new year — and an ancient military victory over the pharaoh — with a traditional Berber Ayred festival.

Young men wear lion masks, drape themselves in hides and parade from door to door to the beat of drums during the Ayred, which means "lion" in the Berber language. They gather food and other items to distribute later to the poor, and residents sing along their journey.

The three-day festival that started Thursday also commemorates the victory of a Berber king over the Egyptian pharaoh in 950 BC.

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Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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