The Vevcani carnival is the latest event that will be stripped down. Vevcani Mayor Saso Jankoski said that the concerts will be cancelled, but the traditional masked parade, that goes back to pre-Christian times, will still take place.

We gave up on the concerts to prevent mass gatherings and the spread of the pandemic. But we have no right to interfere in the celebration of St. Vasilija. The two associations of Vasilicari are in charge of organizing the parade – it is their right and obligation, Jankoski said.

The carnival features masks of animals and demons, but also masks lampooning contemporary political events, and used to draw a large crowd of international visitors. Last week it was announced that the traditional Epiphany blessing of the lakes and rivers and the throwing of the holy cross, which also draws large crowds across the country, will be reduced to the churches, with much smaller gatherings.