One of the most famous village festivals held in the Balkans is the Vevcani Carnival. Each year, the Macedonian village marks the Orthodox St. Vasilij Day -- the beginning of the old Julian calendar -- with a 1,400-year-old carnival rooted in pre-Christian traditions. The festivity is dedicated to Saint Basil the Great. Traditionally, this year January will held Vevcani Carnival which is one of the oldest cultural events in Macedonia.
The participants of the Carnival are known as “Vasilicari”. Performers revel in the streets wearing masks that reflect pagan rituals, religious issues, or political satires of current events.
The annual carnival is a mix of pagan customs translated into modern language. In 1993 the Carnival and the village of Vevcani officially became apart of the World Federation of Carnival Cities.
The carnival attracts thousands of both domestic and international visitors to see the people of Vevcani disguised in elaborate masks expressing humor and sarcasm. Some of the most common costumes include devils, demons and other mythical characters. During the raucous proceedings, traditional music is played on a traditional double-reed woodwind instrument and drums.