By Stephanie Radi
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AA) – Residents of Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli celebrated the annual Zambo festival on Sunday, on the eve of the start of the Orthodox Christian period of Lent.
Dozens of young men and women donned feather dresses and dark body paint and paraded through the city’s streets, according to an Anadolu reporter.
Celebrators also put masks on their faces and formed groups carrying swords, spears and daggers, beating drums and singing old African songs.
The Zambo festival is an old custom that the Tripoli residents used to celebrate for decades and gradually turned into an annual tradition. It symbolizes the transition from paganism to Christianity, according to the Greek Orthodox Church.
Lebanese maintain such habits despite the record collapse in the value of the local currency, lira, against US dollar, as well as the scarcity of fuel and medicine and the sharp decline in purchasing power.
Since 2019, Lebanon has been facing a crippling economic crisis that, according to the World Bank, is one of the worst the world has seen in modern times.
* Ikram Imane Kouachi contributed to this report