Monday, January 16, 2017
Vevcani Carnival - a 1400 year old tradition
Vevcani Carnival is celebrated every year for more than 1400 years. It is held every year on 13 and 14 January (on the eve and the first day of the New Year, according to the old calendar).
Carnival is a mix of pagan and modern way of celebration. The main characteristics of the carnival are: archaism, secretiveness, and improvisation.
The village of Vevčani is situated in the southwestern range at the foot of the Jablanica mountain range. It is 800 – 950 metres above sea level. The village is located 14 km North-West of the town of Struga, close to Lake Ohrid region. Carnival is one of the most important festive day in the area. According to some sources, the tradition of the Vevcani Carnival is dedicated to St. Basil the Great, a Christian saint and bishop from Asia Minor, who is considered the founder of the monastic tradition in Eastern Orthodoxy.
Vevcani from morning of this festive day, turned into a kind of theater without borders. First participants backstage them dressed and shaped masks, far from the public eye, designed and made weeks before. Then all the participants go on streets with their masks and perform their imaginary scenarios like real actors.
Vevcani Carnival as a collection of "archaic, mystery and unique masks, but the most traditional masks are: "groom and bride," "Stupid August" and musicians. Carnival can regularly see the masks and costumes that satirizes everyday political events in the country and in the world. Vevcani Carnival is considered also an outdoor theater. It engages all residents of the municipality, and residents open doors of their homes to guests with traditional specialties and good wine.
Under cloudless skies, hundreds of Vevcani citizens and curious guests from Ohrid, Struga, Macedonia and abroad, walked for nearly two hours in a parade, with the masks that this time was an image of the actual situation in Macedonia and the world.