Everything about Šuto Orizari


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Herdelezi is the Roma spring festival. It is celebrated all over the Balkans, by Muslims as well as Christians, and not only by Roma. The Christians call it St. Georges day. In Šuto Orizari we celebrate like this: In the days before the festival all the houses are cleaned throughly inside and out. If possible we even paint the house and the fences. Sheep are being brought in by the truckload and every family that can afford it buys at least one lamb for the festival. On the 5th of May we visit the Holy Spring that is situated in Skopje behind the church of St. John the Baptist. If you drink from the holy water you are supposed to have good luck the whole year. The young people drink from the water and light candles because they hope to find a partner. The sheep are being slaughtered and put on show in front of the house. The 6th of May is dedicated to celebrating in the home, within the family. On the 3rd day of Herdelezi we visit friends and relatives. The young ones great the elders and wish them “Bahtalo Herdelezi” – “Happy Herdelezi” and kiss their hands. On the 4th day of Herdelezi we celebrate in public. We have a barbecue outside the house, everybody puts their loudspeakers or sound systems in the forecourt so the streets are filled resounding with music. The families visit the Lunapark and in the evening there is a big open air concert.

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