Festivals, holidays, Celebrations
Because of Albanians history, ethnic and religious backgrounds, there are many cultural and arts festivals throughout the country. Every year Albanian people celebrate different festivals and holidays.
One of the largest is the pagan Summer Festival. It is celebrated on March 14 and it is intended to commemorate the end of winter, the rebirth of nature and a rejuvenation of spirit amongst the Albanians.
Gjirokastër National Folklore Festival is an artistic music festival that takes place every 5 years and is regarded as the most important event in Albanian culture. The festival promotes Albanian traditional music, dress and dance from Albania, the Diasporas, and Albanian inhabited lands throughout the Balkans.
Kënga Magjike (Magical Song) is another major musical event in Albanian territories. It is a great mixture of singers and bands from Albania and neighboring countries. Songs from this contest have resulted in many hits for Albanians throughout the world.
The most important Albanian holiday is Independence Day. It is celebrated on November 28. It was declared in 1912 marking the end of five centuries of Ottoman control.
On March 8 Albanians celebrate the Mother’s Day. It’s generally celebrated in many of the same ways, as it would be around the world. One of the traditions is to give a simple gift of a mimosa sprig.
Albanians are very keen to celebrate Christmas and New Year Eve. It is usually celebrated by staying up past midnight where fireworks are involved. It’s usually spent with family and friends and there are usually large feasts, sweets and drinking.
Other Albanian holidays are Bayram Day, Islamic holiday celebrating the end of Ramadan, Teacher’s Day, Mother Teresa Day, National Youth Day, Liberation Day, Children’s Day, May Day, April’s Fool Day, etc.