Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Type / Intangible Heritage

Vevchani Carnival

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Vevchani Carnival

About the site

Corridor: Via Egnatia, Sofia-Ohrid Road
Country: FYR of Macedonia, Vevchani, Struga
Type: Intangible Heritage
Theme: Intangible Heritage
World Heritage:
Intangible HeritageIntangible Heritage

Around 190 km south-west of Skopje, at 920 metres above sea level on Jablanica Mountain, the village of Vevchani is situated. With its picturesque surroundings, natural springs and waterfalls, as well as the Vevchani carnival, the village represents a distinctive ethnographic, environmental and cultural entity in the country and wider.
Vevchani dates back to the end of the 6th and the beginning of the 7th century A.D., and the first historical record is from the 9th century (Kaliman’s charter).
The local carnival ‘speaks’ of events, thoughts and beliefs of Vevchani through centuries. Namely, for over ten centuries now, on 13th and 14th January, the days when according to the old (Julian) calendar, the Old year is sent off and the New one welcomed, Vevchani people jointly ‘stage’ the farewell of everything that was unsuccessful, unhappy and bad in the old year, and ‘summon’ the fertile, abundant, and beautiful in the New year, in an open-sky drama (theatre) of many roles (masks), and through a synopsis (stories, songs and dances) that nobody has ever written down. Since 1993, Vevchani is a member of the European Federation of Carnival cities (FECC), and since 1996 the seat of the Macedonian branch of the above Federation. The same year the village hosted the International symposium of rituals and masks.

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