The traditional masks of groom, bride and August the Fool will parade in Vevcani on January 13-14 at the carnival celebrating the departure of old and arrival of the new year according to the old calendar.
The carnival honoring Saint Basil the Great is known for its archaic spirit and unique masks mixing pagan rituals and modern celebrations. The carnival takes place in the village of Vevcani, which is magically transformed into a theatre in its own right, free of borders, where every house, street is a stage for those behind the masks to perform their roles and play their games as true actors.
The event will unofficially kick off on January 12 with a concert that will include performances by musicians from Macedonia and neighboring countries.
The main parade will take place on January 13, where the old new year will be welcomed outdoors in the center of Vevcani. The next day, masks will be set on fire as a ritual.
Come to Vevcani to see how tradition and predecessors are being honored, Pero Ilieski - the mayor of Vevcani municipality - told a press conference on Friday.
The Vevcani carnival has been supported by the Ministry of Culture for the last three years. It is a great pleasure to be part of this event, Deputy Culture Minister Dragan Nedeljkovic said today.
For over 1,400 years the Vevcani Carnival has been an interesting mix of paganism and modernism. The main characteristics of the event are: archaism, secretiveness, and improvisation. Its particular features distinguish it from any other carnival worldwide.
During the carnival, the disguised participants enjoy every freedom and passion to 'place the world upside down' -- a freedom of spirit, creativity and a sense of improvisation, criticism, and sarcasm. Officially, women do not participate in the carnival -- they do disguise, but unlike men, do not take off their masks in the end.
In 1993, the Vevcani carnival, or more precisely, the municipality of Vevcani, joined FECC - the Federation of European Carnival Cities.