With the arrival of the Old Style New Year (January 14th) the village of Vevcani is preparing for its world renowned carnival. On Thursday, painter Niche Vasilev will open an exhibition of his work in the Pensioner’s Club, while in the evening, a concert is scheduled with bands like Nokaut, DNK and The Frajle. Friday evening will feature performances by Efto Pupinoski and Aneta Nakovska, who will ring in the new year.
The main event of the carnival, the parade under masks begins on Friday at noon. A mock wedding ceremony, angels, demons, devils, clowns and other old ritual masks are usually joined with masks portraying current events, with biting satire of Macedonian and global politicians, turning the village into an open air theater. Women from the village then prepare traditional Vasilica pies with a hidden coin and on Saturday, the masks are all put on a bonfire in a ritual believed to announce a happy and prosperous new year.
It is believed that the carnival dates back to pre-Christian times, and could be more than 15 centuries old. It is dedicated to St. Vasil, or St. Basil the Great, with the holiday Vasilica named after him.