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November 21, 2019

Holidays in Albania

Le festivities in Albania they are different and in this article we list the days of Albanian national holidays.

There are numerous feasts in Albania both of the Christian and Muslim tradition. Throughout the year, around 11-15 are celebrated between religious and non-religious days.

Easter

Among the religious festivals, the Orthodox Easter, usually celebrated a week after the Catholic Easter, but it can also coincide on the same day as the Catholic Easter.

On this occasion, Orthodox families color and decorate the characteristic Easter eggs, which are mainly red in color. On Holy Thursday, children go from house to house singing and offering colored eggs in exchange for money or sweets.

The eggs, blessed on Saturday evening, are consumed during the Easter lunch. Each diner will eat his own egg after having beaten it with that of his neighbor by uttering an auspicious phrase. Then the shells are placed near the tree roots to hope for abundant crops.

The Day of Nevruz

In March the Albanians celebrate Nevruz (or Novruz). The term derives from the Persian word "new day”And marks the beginning of the new year. The 21 or 22 is celebrated, that is with the Spring Equinox.

The festival has very ancient origins. According to scholars it dates back to around 15.000 years ago, in pre-Islamic times. The period of greatest diffusion came with the Zoroastrian religion, linked to the celebrations in honor of the divinity Ahura Maszda, god of fire, of the Sun and of the rebirth of life. The party is accompanied by the general cleaning of the house, a symbol of cleanliness that man must do and do in his own soul.

Very often small bonfires are lit in the streets, where fire, the heritage of Ahura Mazda's worship, symbolizes power and life. A deeply felt tradition is that followed by young people organizing picnics with friends, while adults go to visit relatives, exchanging spring wishes.

During the party the families usually prepare the kulaç, the homemade bread cooked with a coin inside (The kulaç is similar to a focaccia), before it is eaten it is cut into several parts and, according to tradition, whoever finds the coin will have luck throughout the year.

The Day of the Great Bajram

The day of the Great Bajram (Bajrami i Madh) is a Muslim festival and marks the end of the month of Ramadan. Ramadan starts at a different time of the year, progressively falling in a different season. This is because it is based on the Islamic calendar which is formed by 355 (therefore 10 days less than the calendar year). Fasting is the tradition of the month of Ramadan and takes place from dawn to dusk every day.

The Day of Kurban Bajram

The day of Kurban Bajram is another day of the Albanian holidays of Muslim religion. It is the feast of faith and submission to the will of God, also known as the sacrificial feast.

Muslims, as reported in the Koran where Abraham (completely obedient to the divine order to sacrifice his son, before being stopped by an angel), sacrifice an animal (goat or lamb).

The meat is divided into three equal parts: one is consumed during the holiday, one is preserved and another date for the poor. Each Muslim family, based on their financial resources, carries out its holocaust most of the time by paying a fee on a single animal.

New Year

The New Year it is undoubtedly one of the most popular Albanian holidays for the population. In all the main squares of the cities a big tree decorated with lots of lights occupies the center of the square while the citizens around sing and dance on the rhythm of traditional music.

They can also be a good event to get together with parents and relatives. Tradition says that December 31 is celebrated by the eldest son of the family, while the first year by the other brother.

The oldest of the family raises the glass first and toasts with everyone present at the table in descending order of age. It is also toast for those people who could not be there at that time. Usually the parties are animated by the game of cards or chess.

The typical dish of this Albanian festival is the Përshesh also called Dollme. The national holidays for this occasion are the 1 and the 2 January.

All 2019 Albanian holidays

We list in chronological order all the Albanian national holidays for the year 2019

  • 1 and 2 January - New Year's public holidays - Viti i Ri
  • 14 March - Spring day - Dita and Verës
  • 22 March - The day of Nevruz - Dita and Sulltan Nevruzit
  • 21 April - Easter Sunday (Catholic) - Pashkët Katolike
  • 22 April - Easter Monday (Catholic) - Pashkët Katolike
  • 28 April - Easter Sunday (Orthodox) - Pashkët Ortodokse
  • 29 April - Easter Monday (Orthodox) - Pashkët Ortodokse
  • 1 May - Labor Day - Dita Ndërkombëtare and Punëtorëve
  • 5 June - The Day of the Great Bajram - Bajrami i Madh (Marks the end of the Ramadan period)
  • 12 August - The Day of the Kurban Bajram - Bajrami i Vogël
  • 5 September - The day of sanctification of Mother Teresa - Dita and Nënë Terezës
  • 28 November - Flag day and independence - Dita and Pavarësisë
  • 29 November - Liberation Day - Dita and Çlirimit
  • 8 December - National Youth Day - Dita Kombëtare and Rinisë
  • 25 December - Christmas - Krishtlindjet

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