Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vevcani - Struga

Vevcani / Vevcani municipality - The village of Vevčani (Macedonian: Вевчани) is found in the southwestern range at the foot of the Jablanica mountain range. It is situated from 800 – 950 metres above sea level. The village is located 14 km North-West of the town of Struga. The village is situated near the villages of OktisiVeleštaPodgorciGorna Belica with the Albanian border to the West of the village.
The word "Vevčani" is based on an Old Church Slavonic word. The word Ves (Old Church Slavonic: Вес) which meant village in Old Church Slavonic. The word Vesčani meant in Old Church Slavonic, "people of Ves" or "Vesians". This soon became the name of the settlement. By the 14th the name "Veščani" was being used. In 17th century records the village is referred to Veščano (Вешчано). By the early 20th century the village was often referred to as Vehčani (Вехчани) or Vesčani (Весчани), until the name Vevčani (Macedonian: Вевчани) was officially adopted.
Vevcani church Saint Nikola.
It is believed that the village of Vevčani was founded sometime during period from the end of the 6th century to the beginning of the 8th century. The village was founded most probably by Berziti, who had adopted Christianity. The first settlement was originally at the foot of the Jablanica mountain. It was believed to have been founded in a place known as Selište.

Vevcani Carnival
One of the most famous village festivals held in the Balkans is the Vevčani Carnival. It is believed that the custom is over 1,400 years old. It is based on old Pagan beliefs and rituals. Essentially the Carnival is the ritual of calling after Saint Basil the Great, which coincides with the Twelve Days of Orthodox Christmas and the Orthodox New Year. The festivity is held on the 13th and 14 January every year and is dedicated to Saint Basil the Great. The Carinval witnesses the passing of the old year and the coming of the new one. The participants of the Carnival are known as Vasiličari (Macedonian: Василичари). In 1993 the Carnival and the village of Vevčani officially became apart of the World Federation of Carnival Cities. In recent years a special "Carnival Passport" has been issued at the Carnival.

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