The Carnival of Vevčani

The Vevcani Carnival is one of the best in Balkans!
That’s it all for me. No ? So…


One of the most famous carnival town in the Balkans is the Carnival Vevčani. It is said that this traditional festival is old over 1400 years. It is based on old beliefs and pagan rituals. This carnival is the ritual of the appeal of St. Basil the Great, which coincides with the twelve days of Orthodox Christmas and New Year Orthodox. This festival is dedicated to him. The participants of the carnival are nicknamed the “Vasiličari”. This carnival is known as an event that combines all forms of expression of traditional and contemporary culture.

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For me it’s a great party that promotes unity and friendliness. Being French, I did not know this kind of tradition, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover pleasing people who wanted to share their custom.

There is obviously a kind of provocation in fancy dress or a political commitment on some of them, but always in the spirit of carnival. This subversive dimension became the essence of this event, they are local and international criticism assumed openly. I think it’s a good thing.

There is also a real “artistic” work on the costumes, when you know they create themselves and that by the end of the carnival they burn, it still imposes more respect! I was really impressed to see an almost professional quality on some of them. Besides, another surprising thing is that despite the atmosphere very lively even a little crazy and alcohol level of some participants, they have a real respect for the spectators. They give attention to the fact that either disguised or not.

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One thing that bothered me, it was the presence of very young children, which for me had nothing to do here.

However, an event like this is for me, French is an example to be followed in village festivals in my country. Because during the two days where I attended the carnival, I saw no problems, no violence, participants are there to have fun and delirious.

Guilhem Cougouluegne

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