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Vevchani Carnival

„Vevchani Carnival is one of the most famous carnivals in the Republic of Macedonia, held every year in the period of 13-14th January in one of the most beautiful villages in Macedonia – Vevchani. ”
Vevchani is a village located on the slopes of the Jablanica Mountain, which abounds with natural beauties and is rich with water, making the village attractive for many tourists.

. It is one of the most visited villages in Macedonia, and it is the place where ethno tourism started developing for the first time in Macedonia, during the former federation of Yugoslavia. Vevchani is visited by many domestic and foreign tourists during the entire year, mostly during Vevchani Carnival. Written records prove that this carnival has a tradition old 1400 years, making it the oldest carnival in Macedonia. All people from Vevchani who live out of the country or in other cities always come back on this day, and everyone is wearing a mask, proudly presenting their many-centuries old tradition to the entire world. This carnival is connected with the saint St. Vasilij celebrated on the 14th January and the Orthodox New Year at midnight on 13th January. Orthodox New Year is celebrated by people using the Julian calendar. Although it is related with a Christian holiday, it has to be noted that this carnival has many pagan elements. It is believed that masks will chase away evil spirits from the village, so one of the customs is burning all masks on the main city square after the carnival has finished. A large part of the masks are traditional masks, and every year there has to be a mask that represents the bride and groom who lead the procession with masks that before the official part, visit all houses from the village and this is how symbolically they chase away evil spirits from each house.

Various masks represent the interesting happenings from the previous year in the country and worldwide as well, and the most sarcastic are the ones about politicians and political leaders.

There is traditional music played with traditional instruments, and much alcohol. People from Vevchani are very hospitable, so if you attend this carnival they will offer you home-made wine and rakija, which is a traditional drink in Macedonia. This carnival is not of large scale as other carnivals that are happening throughout the world on the city streets, but here you may feel the tradition and love of hosts proud to have this tradition and have been duly representing it for centuries.