...Mycenaean Greeks...used to do this
Wow! This is a very old tradition, to say the least.
Bulgarian folk narratives are distinguished by their stark, primal qualities, their spare poetic beauty and powerful archetypal characters. The characters are larger than life - epic heroes, warrior women and beguiling beings who inhabit a magical landscape that has its own reality, laws and logic. They are many-layered and reveal some very ancient roots, perhaps going back to Thracian times and beyond.
The ancient Thracians were an Indo-European tribal people who settled at least 5,000 years ago in that area of the Balkans whose heartland is now the modern state of Bulgaria. Lying at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, Thracian culture reflected influences from the Scythians in the north, the Phrygians to the southeast and the Greeks to the west, yet it had its own distinct identity.