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ALSASUA – Here in the Spanish Pyrenees, the locals celebrate quite a bizarre tradition with roots in ancient times -- made alive again by those who like to mingle with the walking dead. During this weeklong Alsasua fiesta, abandoned in the 1930s but picked up again in the 1990s, the “Momotxorros are dressed in blood-spattered cloth, animal heads, forks in hand scaring and taunting everyone who crosses their path.

The 2013 edition wrapped up on Saturday, with plenty of blood, but no injuries....here's a look:

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Momotxorro, lighting a bonfire Theklan


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This pagan ritual used to include the incineration of live animals Mr. Theklan


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Dip your fork in cattle blood and put it on your clothes for extra scary effect Mr. Theklan

[rebelmouse-image 27086500 alt=""Momotxorro"" original_size="428x500" expand=1]

Motxomorro in full costume Mr. Theklan


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The Witch... Mr. Theklan

[rebelmouse-image 27086502 alt=""Akerraren" original_size="375x500" expand=1]

...and the Goat are new additions to this carnival, where children are welcome! Mr. Theklan

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Ideas

How Turkey Can Bring Its Brain Drain Back Home

Turkey heads to the polls next year as it faces its worst economic crisis in decades. Disillusioned by corruption, many young people have already left. However, Turkey's disaffected young expats are still very attached to their country, and could offer the best hope for a new future for the country.

Photo of people on a passenger ferry on the Bosphorus, with Istanbul in the background

Leaving Istanbul?

Bekir Ağırdır*

-Analysis-

ISTANBUL — Turkey goes to the polls next June in crucial national elections. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is up against several serious challenges, as a dissatisfied electorate faces the worst economic crisis of his two-decade rule. The opposition is polling well, but the traditional media landscape is in the hands of the government and its supporters.

But against this backdrop, many, especially the young, are disillusioned with the country and its entire political system.

Young or old, people from every demographic, cultural group and class who worry about the future of Turkey are looking for something new. Relationships and dialogues between people from different political traditions and backgrounds are increasing. We all constantly feel the country's declining quality of life and worry about the prevalence of crime and lawlessness.

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