Thousands of revelers expected at Vevcani Carnival in 2017
Wednesday, 04 January 2017

Some 1,000 masks, including the traditional ones of bride and groom, August the Stupid and musicians, will be paraded in the streets of the tiny village of Vevcani during this year's Vevcani Carnival, held to celebrate the New Year according to the Julian calendar.

Revelers wear masks that reflect pagan rituals, religious issues, or political satires of current events at the carnival that marks the day of the Orthodox saint Vasilij.

An estimated 15,000-20,000 visitors are expected to flock to the village of Vevcani in western Macedonia this year during the carnival, which will run from 10 January until 13 January.

"The number of revelers attending the Vevcani Carnival is rising year by year and I expect this year more than 1,000 masks to be paraded in Vevcani on Jan. 13. As per tradition, the masks will be thrown in the fire and destroyed the next day on Jan. 14," Vevcani mayor Cvetomir Ugrinoski told a press conference on Wednesday in Skopje.

The Vevcani Carnival as a cultural manifestation is a Macedonian brand with a 1,400-year-old tradition, according to deputy culture minister Dragan Nedeljkovic.

"I hope the tradition will last for at least 20 centuries and will be put on the map of world-famous carnivals. I also hope it is recognized not only at home, but also in the Balkans and beyond," he stated.

The Vevcani Carnival is held under the auspices of the Macedonian Ministry of Culture.

The Vevcani Carnival, held annually on January 13-14, is where paganism meets modern traditions. Known for being mysterious, performers at the event are allowed to improvise, which makes the Vevcani Carnival more unique than others held around the world. 

The Vevcani Carnival joined the Federation of European Carnival Cities (FECC) in 1993.


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