The honoring of the 1903 Ilinden Uprising begins in Krusevo today and will culminate on Sunday. The uprising was a pivotal moment in the fight for Macedonian statehood against the Ottoman Empire, and the short-lived Krusevo Republic is seen as inspiration for the modern Macedonian state.

The flag of the Krusevo Republic will be raised over the city this evening, and gatherings will be held at the grave of uprising leaders such as Pitu Guli. A re-enactment of the fight to take the city will take place in the evening as well.

On Sunday, the traditional gathering takes place on Meckin Kamen – the place of the last stand of the fighters, and at the grave of President Nikola Karev in the Makedonium.

In a rare development, the Meckin Kamen gathering will not feature an address from a top office holder. The President, the Prime Minister and the Speaker of Parliament rotate in this role and the speech often includes significant political proclamations. This year it’s Speaker Xhaferi’s turn, but he is still recovering from pneumonia and will sent out his deputy Goran Misovski instead.