The village of Vevchani is situated in the southwest part of Macedonia, on the slopes of the Jablanica mountain, at an altitude of 800 meters. It is widely known for its springs and the Vevchani carnival celebrating the coming of the New Year according to the Julian calendar (January 13-14). This carnival is different from all other carnivals for its specific characteristics and unique masks. During the carnival, the village of Vevchani turns into a theatre in which each street and house is a scene. There are traditional masks (musicians, brides and grooms and August the Stupid) and groups of masks that ridicule events and persons from the social life. In addition to these unique masques, the visitors are offered a wonderful music program, plenty of wine and traditional food.
The Galichnik wedding festival is an attraction not only for the domestic, but also for the foreign tourists that come from all places worldwide. It is traditionally held each year on St. Peter’s day, July 12th, in the village of Galichnik. During this festival, the tourists have a unique opportunity to familiarize themselves with the Macedonian wedding customs from the past. Each year, a special commission selects a couple for this wedding. The wedding lasts for 5 days during which, many rituals are performed, culminating with the Macedonian national dance referred to as “Teshkoto” symbolizing the sufferings of the Macedonian people through centuries.
The famous Strumitsa Carnival is an old traditional carnival that takes place every year during the first three days of the Great Lent. During this spectacular event, disguised groups of people roam around the city laughing, screaming and singing, and they visit the homes of their fiancées where they stay until the early morning hours. It is believed that the disguising will bring luck, fertility and happiness to the future spouses. This amazing carnival made Strumitsa become a member of the International Association of the Carnival Cities in 1994, thus establishing cooperation and group exchange with many other countries.
Vodici is one of the greatest Christian holidays, celebrating the baptism of Jesus Christ. Each year, on January 19, crowds of people gather by the rivers and lakes along with priests dressed in their best holiday splendor. The priests hold a sanctification ceremony followed by throwing a cross into the rivers and lakes, thus blessing the waters. As soon as the cross is thrown into the water, a group of volunteers jump into the water and compete in finding the cross. The one who brings the cross up to the surface will enjoy good health for the entire year.