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  • Writer's pictureАнђела Петровски

Vevčani Carnival / Vevčanski karneval

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

The Vevčani Carnival is a traditional carnival held annually in the village of Vevčani, located in the Republic of North Macedonia. The festival has been held for over 1,400 years, making it one of the oldest carnivals in the world. The carnival is an important cultural event in the region and is celebrated on the Orthodox Christian holiday of St. Vasil's Day (January 14th) with much fanfare and merriment.


The Vevčani Carnival is unique in that it is a purely secular event, with no religious connotations. The highlight of the carnival is the procession of masked participants, known as Vasiličari, who parade through the streets of the village in elaborate costumes and masks, singing, dancing, and performing various skits and pranks. Vasiličari is a symbol of the human cycle of life, death, and rebirth, and the carnival is seen as a way of purging the village of any evil or negativity.


The carnival commences when masks of the bride and the groom (both men) in traditional clothes parade through the village followed by red hooded stupid Augusts swaying the fresh animal skins and the musicians.


A significant aspect of the annual parade is satirical masks portraying the current world and domestic events.


The costumes and masks are mostly handmade out of fur, leather, and fabric. Some of the most distinctive masks are those with animal or demonic features, which are meant to symbolize the evil that is being purged from the village. The costumes and masks express the creativity and artistry of the local people, who take great pride in participating in the festival.


In recent years, the Vevčani Carnival has gained increased recognition and has become one of the premier cultural events in Northern Macedonia. It has helped to promote the village and attract more visitors and has become a source of pride for the local community. The festival is a testament to the resilience and perseverance of the Macedonian people and is a celebration of their rich cultural heritage.



Photo and Text by Matjaž Tančič



 


Vevčanski karneval je tradicionalni karneval koji se održava svake godine u selu Vevčani, koje se nalazi u Republici Severnoj Makedoniji. Festival se održava više od 1.400 godina, što ga čini jednim od najstarijih karnevala na svetu. Karneval je značajan kulturni događaj u regionu i obeležava se na pravoslavni praznik Vasiljevdan (14. januar) uz mnogo pompe i veselja.


Vevčanski karneval je jedinstven po tome što je čisto sekularni događaj, bez verskih konotacija. Vrhunac karnevala je povorka maskiranih učesnika, poznatih kao Vasiličari, koji defiluju ulicama sela u raskošnim kostimima i maskama, pevajući, igrajući i izvodeći razne skečeve i šale. Vasiličari su simbol ljudskog ciklusa života, smrti i ponovnog rađanja, a karneval se posmatra kao način čišćenja sela od svakog zla ili negativnosti.


Karneval počinje kada maske mlade i mladoženja (obojica muškaraca) u tradicionalnoj odeći paradiraju kroz selo praćeni glupim Avgustima sa crvenim kapuljačama koji njišu sveže životinjske kože i muzičarima.


Značajan aspekt godišnje parade su satirične maske koje prikazuju aktuelna svetska i domaća dešavanja.


Kostimi i maske su uglavnom ručno rađeni od krzna, kože i tkanine. Neke od najizrazitijih maski su one sa životinjskim ili demonskim obeležjima, koje treba da simbolizuju zlo koje se čisti iz sela. Kostimi i maske izražavaju kreativnost i umeće lokalnog stanovništva, koje je veoma ponosno učešćem na festivalu.


Poslednjih godina Vevčanski karneval je stekao sve veću prepoznatljivost i postao jedan od premijernih kulturnih događaja u Severnoj Makedoniji. To je pomoglo da se selo promoviše i privuče više posetilaca i postalo je izvor ponosa lokalne zajednice. Festival je svedočanstvo otpornosti i istrajnosti makedonskog naroda i proslava je njegovog bogatog kulturnog nasleđa.


Photo and Text by Matjaž Tančič






























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