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Authentic fire-dancing over live coals can be seen only in a small region in southeastern Bulgaria, in several villages in the Strandja mountain.

Nowadays, fire-dancing over ambers is performed every year only by a few “initiated” into the ritual men and women at a mature age.  Some of them say they have inherited this gift as a family tradition.  Others tell a story of suddenly being inspired while watching fire-dancers perform and lured by an irrational impulse started dancing themselves.
Some of the contemporary fire-dancers remember the performances of the last authentic fire dancers for whom the ritual had been a religion, a way of life.  In the past, this tradition was denounced by the official cultural policy and its upholders were subjected to persecution.  After decades of surviving in secret, the tradition  gradually started coming back to life  and today it is observed at folklore fairs in many regions in the country.
Present-day fire-dancers, just like their predecessors, say they feel a strange anxiety once the moment of the ritual draws near.  They say that the minute they step close to the live coals, their feet and palms suddenly chill and only a long time after the dance is over recover to their normal temperature.  Underneath their bare feet, the coals glow as if ready to blaze up once again.  It is as if the dancers don't feel the fire  and  cross  the fire circle in tiny steps. An inexplicable emotion seizes them, they say.  While dancing over the live coals, they hear only the rhythm of the drum and the sound of the bag-pipe, the whole world is as if gone.
No explanation has been found why the bare feet of the fire-dancers are not burnt by the fire.  Traditional medicine has sought the answer in the way the fire-dancers carefully press their feet to the coals.  The performers, however, claim that they are protected by the saint patrons - St. St. Constantine and Helen, who trace out a path in front of the dancers.  Fire-dancers step on the glowing embers with the icon of the two saints in their hands. 
The musicians playing in the fire-dancing ritual are also carefully selected.  They have, too, inherited their gift as a family tradition.  Some of them play only at the ritual.  It is a magical experience for them.  The musicians know that their music “guides” the fire-dancers. The fire-dancing melodies are handed down from generation to generation and are performed only at the ritual.  During the rest of the year, the fire-dancing drum is kept together with the ritual icons in a special chapel.
The ritual of fire-dancing is believed to intensify and kindle up the energy of the Sun.

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