Veriu është festë (English)

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Veriu është festë LO CAL FESTIVAL S AND E VE NTS I N SH KODRA C OUNT Y Fushe-Arrez, Malesi e Madhe, Puka, Shkodra, Vau Dejes Municipalities

© MMXX GO2


Veriu është festë

LOCAL FESTIVALS AND EVENTS IN SHKODRA COUNTY Fushe-Arrez, Malesi e Madhe, Puka, Shkodra, Vau Dejes Municipalities

Published by GO2 Organization We express our gratitude to all the municipalities in Shkodra County, to the organizations and to the local communities in particular for the information provided during the compilation of this calendar.

Shkodra, 2020

The information and standpoints provided in this calendar belong to the author and do not necessarily represent the opinion of European Union, GIZ Albania, Swedish Embassy, institutions and other mentioned subjects.


Content Legend and Abbreviations, 7 Local celebrations alter people’s lives, 9 January, 15 February, 23 March, 29 April, 47 May, 89 June, 143 July, 193 August, 223 September, 259 October, 301 November, 329 December, 357


Abbreviations AU PA NM CM

Administrative Unit Protected Area Natural Monument Cultural Monument


Legend Celebration date Festival/event at a county level (Look at Veriu ĂŤshtĂŤ festĂŤ Calendar Map) Festival/event at a municipality level (Look at the map) Local or/and community festival/event (Look at the map) Festival/event taking place in the Administrative Unit (Look at the map) Location/venue of organized festival Festival organizers Symbolism/scope of festival Description of festival *) Around 18 festivals* celebrated in the whole county are not indicated in the Map of Festivals and main events in the Shkodra County attached to this Calendar.



Local festivals alter people’s lives Local celebrations are a series of common themed events that are organized at periodic intervals. Local festivals, initiated and managed by local organizers, are deeply embedded in the culture of a community and as a result they create and recreate their stories, generating values and habits in that community. Wellplanned festivals and events offer a myriad of economic and social benefits. The tourism of festivals and events is considered one of the fastest growing forms of tourism, becoming popular in rural areas as a means to regenerate local economies. However, whereas the economic benefits of local festivals are more easily measured, the 9


social benefits are less tangible and in fact more important, since they affect every aspect of a community life. A particularly significant social benefit of these local festivals is the creation of strong relationships and social interaction in a community, which generally occurs during the planning phase. These benefits last, as people bring their connections and network, collective knowledge and skills to improve a community life. Most of the hundreds of forms collected to compile this Calendar ascertain the festivals as an opportunity for socialization among the communities isolated in deep northern alpine regions, where the territory of Shkodra county extends. A distinctive case is that of Logu i BjeshkĂŤve, which is one of the most authentic and unique festivals that also takes place in the depths of the Albanian Alps, at QafĂŤ Predelec, Kelmend. The organizers of this festival state that the event brought together no more than 5 girls when it was revived from traditional celebrations 20 years ago, but that number has multiplied in the years to come. The same phenomenon is also


true for probable audience that travels dozens, hundreds and even thousands of kilometres, including the nearby villages in Malesi e Madhe, Albania, and even across the Atlantic, to attend this festival. Local festivals also have the ability to absorb financial resources and investments in the communities where these events take place, providing economic benefits that contribute to a sustainable development of the area. They attract visitors, which stimulates the growth of tourism and boosting of businesses, which simultaneously contributes to increasing job opportunities and captivating visitors to a regional, national and international levels. All of these intertwined links consequently entice attention and promote destinations, tourist attraction and infrastructure. To a certain level, each local celebration has this ability, but what embodies them to greater extent are events such as the Puka Agricultural Products Fair, the Nationwide Festival of the Little Folk Instrumentalists, International Day of Jazz Music in Shkodra. Even so, there is another festival particularly in Shkodra based on a nearly 60-year tradition - the Nationwide Children’s Song 11


Festival - is arguably the most important cultural event in the whole region. Slightly more specific are some activities, such as the annual Photo Exhibition “Shkodra - my family, my culture, my history’, Ekrani i Artit and others in Shkodra, which are truly challenging ventures aiming at identifying and enhancing individual and collective cultural capacities through confronting local audiences with contemporary artistic approaches and developments. Local holidays, festivals and events have impacts that go far beyond what can be economically measured. They contribute to the quality of life in communities, strengthen their relationships and understanding, offer unique activities and events, raising awareness of different cultures and identities, and acting as a source of selfconfidence and pride for these communities. They create models of success, collaboration and partnership. The parties involved in the organization highlight the specific expertise and skills of community members, promoting the transmission of knowledge


to other communities and the further development of the existing human resources. Promoting and building community self-esteem and pride is essential to the development of any community. Locals with confidence and pride in the values they convey are more likely to speak positively about their environment to others, as well as to voluntarily engage in activities that support the common good. In this context, a model of success is the Festival of Kaรงimak in Shkrel, which was first organized by VIS Albania to bring to attention the traditional cooking in a danger of being faded and lost through time. Currently, this celebration has been taken over by the local community itself, which is expanding this tradition along with the parish. Current traditions, even those of the early centuries, which meanwhile account for about 35% of the holidays included in this Calendar are the religious celebrations. However, as in a particular case as Saint Nicholas, the initiative of Vau Dejes municipality to draw this celebration from the family environment and dissolve it within the community should be applauded, as well as giving it an identity 13


associated with the relevant symbolism. Inspired by this approach, a significant part of the celebration and other (not just religious) events need to create, emphasize and diversify. The permanent threat of globalization for the homogeneity and even the disappearance of particular cultures should also alert local communities to intensify efforts to strengthen the identity of their respective territories. The main task is for public institutions, which have the power to guide and offer better opportunities for communities and community organizations even in terms of local festivals and events. However, whatever the holidays, traditional, religious, sports or cultural all have one thing in common: improving the quality of life for communities. Note: All celebrations included in this Calendar are reflected in the peculiar Map of Shkodra county prepared by GO2. Based on the chronological order of events, the ordinal number of each celebration corresponds to the location on the map. Since some holidays are celebrated throughout the whole county, they are not included on the Map.


January


Festive vibes in Shkodra city promenade


1 - 2 January

New Year’s Shkodra County Families Traditional family celebration New Year’s Eve is a relatively new tradition for Albanians massively encouraged during the totalitarian regime attempting to replace it with Christmas. This enthusiasm has somehow faded after religious re-establishment in the early 1990s, but is still widely celebrated in the families. Visits to relatives and friends are usually exchanged during January 1st and 2nd.

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Illustration


6 January

The day of Holy Water/Epiphany Shkodra County Catholic and Orthodox Church Celebration of Christian and Orthodox religious communities This is a day to commemorate the baptism of Jesus Chris by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, which is celebrated 12 days after Christmas by the Christian, Catholic and Orthodox communities in the Shkodra County. In the respective churches the holy sermons are held, whereas the Orthodox have an additional ritual of throwing the cross into the water, which is then drawn from there by believers, racing one another. 19


Tarabosh mountain, Shkodra


Third week of January

Climbing the mountain of Tarabosh Tarabosh mountain, Shkodra City The Door NGO, Tarabosh club Hiking along the ridge of Tarabosh mountain, since 2010 Up to hundreds of people are gathered from alpine climbers and clubs in the country and the region to march in mid-winter along the Taraboshi mountain ridge (595m), west of Shkodra. While reaching the mountain peak, they grasp a 360° panorama over the city, lake and Buna River flowing fields till the Adriatic Sea.

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February


Illustration


February

Chess Festival Middle Schools and High Schools, Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality and Regional Directorate of Eduction Chess championship among students of middle school and high school The chess festival consists of a chess championship among the students of middle school and high school, who were previously announced winners of the championships within the schools. At the set of this closing event, the city champion is chosen.

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Shkodra County is comprised of 5 municipalities (Malesia e Madhe, Vau Dejes, Shkodra, Puka, Fushe-Arrez), 33 Administrative Units and 272 villages. The population of this region is 184909 according to Census in 2011 and 332260 according to Civil Status Register. It lies in the north-western part of Albania covering an area of 2863.23 km2, from the Adriatic Sea to the depth of the Albanian Alps.


The accessibility convenience in Shkodra County is mostly attributed to the 3 entry points located within the region territory: Muriqan Customs, Hani Hoti Customs and Vermosh Customs. In addition, the center of the county has a distance of 44.2 km from the Port of Shengjin in Lezha, 88.4 km from the Mother Theresa International Airport in Rinas, 108 km from the Port of Durres and 166 km from the customs of Morina (Kukes). More than 10% of the 2363.89 km of Albania’s national road network is intertwined in Shkodra County. Said otherwise, 258.30 km.



March


Carnivals along Shkodra city roads


1-5 March

Carnival Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality Traditional celebration marking the end of winter This is a traditional festival of Shkodra city celebrated every year in February since 1861. Various activities take place during the days of the festival, where participants wear costumes and put on humorous and amusing masks. The celebrations culminate with the carnival caravan and the burning of the scarecrow in the main city square.

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Participants in Judo championship, Shkodra


3 March

‘Mother Tereza” Judo International Championship Qazim Dervishi Sports Palace, Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality Judo international championship for female and male category The ‘Mother Teresa’ international event of judo is an international championship with athletes participating from the Balkans and beyond. Athletes compete in different categories based on weight and gender and the event is concluded by awarding different trophies to the best athletes and teams.

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Vau Dejes


3 - 5 March

Carnivals Bushat AU, Hajmel AU, Vau Dejes Municipality Vau Dejes Municipality Religious celebration Carnival celebrations took place in Bushat and Hajmel villages, as well as in the town of Vau Dejes, for the first time in 2019. There are mask parades organized by pupils from the schools in this areas, coming about during the three days of this festival. Along with the activities during these days, there is a competition in particular among students of Vau Dejes school on sarcastically representing the negative phenomena of society. 35


‘28 Nëntori’ High School, a symbol of education in Shkodra


7 March

Teachers’ Day Shkodra County Educational Institutions National holiday/ Commemorating the teacher figure The 7th of March marks the opening of the first school of Albanian language in Korça. There are multiple activities taking place on this day at schools and other educational institutions, where the teacher figure is honoured.

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Illustration


8 March

International Women’s Day Shkodra County Schools of all stages International Women’s Day Each year on the 8th of March, women’s achievements in various fields are celebrated marking a call to action for achieving gender equality. In Shkodra County, but not only, there are various activities organized during the day in the form of free gatherings aiming at the interaction among women’s communities.

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Verore signifying the beginning of spring


14 March

Summer Day Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality Traditional celebration on the beginning of spring It is believed since antiquity that the 14th of March was the first day of spring, however this was declared an official holiday in Albania in the early 2000s. Although being a traditional festival of the Middle and Southern regions of Albania, this day is also celebrated in Shkodra through outdoor activities and among families and friends as well.

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Illustration


22 March

Nowruz Shkodra County Families and religious community of Bektashi The main celebration of Bektashi community representing the revival of hope The Day of Nowruz or Sultan Nowruz is celebrated to honour the birth of Imam Ali, the son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad. The celebration of this day is thought to date back to the 15th century by the Bektashi believers in Albania. It signifies the revival of life and hope.

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A moment from ‘Fjala Artistike’ competition


March

Fjala artistike Schools, Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality and Regional Directorate of Eduction Local competition on recitations and artistic interpretations among pupils For many years now, RDE and Shkodra Municipality have organized the ‘Fjala Artistike’ (art word) event with high school students.

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April


Protesters after the demonstration on April, 2nd 1991 in Shkodra


2 April

Anniversary of anti-communist protest ‘2 Prilli’ Square, Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality Commemorative event honouring the massive protest on April, 2nd 1991 On April 2nd, 1991, a large anti-communist demonstration was gathered in Shkodra, in which 4 young people were killed by the regime. To honour this sacrifice for democracy, hundreds of citizens gather on April 2nd to pay homage at the square where the memorial is built.

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Albanian flag waved in Deรงiq in 1911


6 April

Waving of flag in Deรงiq/Festival of Hot Hot, Kastrat AU, Malesi e Madhe Municipality Malesi e Madhe Municipality and Kastrat Administrative Unit Commemorative activities honouring the raising of flag in Deรงiq castle The Albanian national flag was waved on April 6th, 1991 in Deรงiq, Malesi e Madhe, a year and a half earlier than the declaration of Albanian independence in Vlora. The Municipality of Malesi e Madhe arranges a symbolic waving of the black and red flag commemorating this day. This event is attended not only by locals, but also by sons and daughters who have fled the country, as well as co-national from other areas who are associated with this important national event. 51


Taken from the Conference on Tourism held in Puke in 2018


12 - 13 April

4th Conference Tourism in Shkodra county Koplik city, Malesi e Madhe Municipality GO2, VIS and Cospe organizations Regional conference of tourism in a county level GO2, VIS and Cospe have been organizing the annual conference on tourism in Shkodra County featuring the key stakeholders of tourism sector in this area, since 2016. The conference has an itinerary character, taking place in each of the county municipalities: Shkodra, Vau Dejes, Puka and Malesia e Madhe.

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Folk Games Festival, Shkodra


20 - 21 April

Folk games Ana e Malit Natural Amphitheatre, OblikĂŤ, Ana e Malit AU, Shkodra Municipality The Door NGO and Shkodra Municipality Youngsters performing outdoor traditional folk games An event of a socio-cultural and folklore character for youngsters has been organized in Shkodra since 2008. Activities of this sort intends to evoke the tradition of folk games known from all Albanian regions. Students from high schools and universities of Shkodra, the whole region and Albania attend this event during the three days.

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Illustration


21 April

Catholic Easter Shkodra County The church and the Catholic community Religious celebration of the Catholic community signifying revival The resurrection of Christ three days after his crucifixion is the most important celebration of all the Christian communities in the world, as it symbolizes the resurrection of life and hope. The Easter Sunday comes after the three holy days: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. As such, it is also celebrated in Albania, while gathering at the Holy sermon on Saturday at midnight and followed by lunch with traditional dishes with family members. 57


Illustration


22 April

First Day of Ramadan Shkodra County Muslim community The beginning of the month of Ramadan Ramadan is the ninth and most important month of the Islamic calendar. Depending on the lunar calendar, fasting for this holy month lasts 29 or 30 days. This period is considered important for believers’ devotion to Allah. Those who have the financial opportunity, prepare iftar (the evening meal) for the people in need, or invite friends and family in their homes.

59


Frederik Rreshpja, the poet (1940-2006)


23 April

Returning the poet to his hometown Shkodra City GO2 organization and young volunteers Activity on the occasion of World Book Day A street-art event and readings by the poet Frederik Rreshpja are arranged on the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day.

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Koman lake shore in ToplanĂŤ


23 April

Saint George ToplanĂŤ, SermĂŤ, Temal AU, Vau Dejes Municipality Catholic community in the area Religious celebration Saint George is a religious holiday adhered by Catholic believers, which is celebrated by the residents in Toplane and Serma villages of Temal Administrative Unit in Vau Dejes Municipality. On this holiday, the Catholic community of these villages traditionally expect visits from friends and relatives.

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View from Bajze in Kastrat


25 April

Saint Mark BajzĂŤ, Kastrat AU, MalĂŤsi e Madhe Municipality Catholic church Religious celebration in the honour of Saint Mark In the honour of Saint Mark, the first-century martyr of the Catholic Church, Bajze village of Kastrat celebrates the 25th of April through a holy sermon for many years now. This is then followed by dance and music, what the locals call the Log of the feast.

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Saint Teresa of Kalkuta Cathedral, Vau DejĂŤs town


25 April

Feast of Saint Mark Vau Dejes Municipality Vau Dejes Municipality dhe Parish of Shën Koll Religious family celebration Saint Mark has been celebrated for many years now in the town of Vau Dejes. Nowadays, the locals arrange a pilgrimage to the mountain of Saint Mark, followed by a concert and a fair during the day. The ‘Saint Mark’s Fair’ was organized annually until 1967, when religion was banned in the country. After the ‘90s, the Catholic Church celebrated this day through a sermon attended by many locals coming from different villages and turn it into a day of pilgrimage. 67


Zoja church at the Shkodra city entrance


26 April

Zoja of Shkodra Zoja Church, Shkodra City Catholic church and believers Religious celebration The Zoja (lady) of Shkodra, also known as the ‘Zoja e Këshillit të Mirë’ (Our Lady of Good Counsil), which is the only patronage in Shkodra and in Albania, it is the most authentic religious celebration of Catholic believers in the Shkodra area. It is dedicated to the Zoja of Shkodra church, built at the city south-western entrance, as well as the famous icon image of Saint Mary and baby Christ. The celebration ritual traverses the main city streets, whereas locals from all the area gather at the church. 69


Buna riverbank in Berdica, Shkodra


26 April

Let’s get to know Bërdica Bërdica AU, Shkodra Municipality Shkodra Municipality and Bërdica Administrative Unit Promotional event for Bërdica Administrative Unit Shkodra Municipality has taken the initiative to promote the values and resources of the cultural, natural heritage and territorial products of all the Administrative Units that lie within its territory. Fairs with local products are organized on this day, as well as art concerts by school children groups.

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KimĂŤz village in Puka


27 April

Waving of flag in KimĂŤz KimĂŤz, Gjegjan AU, Puka Municipality Community of Gjegjan Commemoration of the waving of national flag in 1911 On April 27th, 1911, the leaders of Puka and Mirdita waved the Albanian national flag in the kulla (tower) of Zef Ndoji in Kimez. To honour this event, the Administrative Unit of Gjegjan organizes festive ceremonies and concerts of folk music.

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Illustration


28 April

Orthodox Easter Shkodra County Orthodox church and community Religious celebration of orthodox community signifying revival Unlike the Gregorian calendar, according to which the Catholic community is oriented, Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar, according to which religious holidays are celebrated about a week later. However, the symbol of Easter remains the same. It represents the resurrection of Christ three days after the crucifixion. On this occasion, holy sermon is held in the Orthodox churches, while religious families celebrate at lunch among themselves. 75


Reç canyon, Malësi e Madhe


Last Sunday of April

Saint George Grizhë, Gruemirë AU/ Reç, Shkrel AU, Malësi e Madhe Municipality The locals of places where it is celebrated Traditional celebration dedicated to the beginning of spring The doorsteps of homes are decorated with green leaves to welcome and celebrate the beginning of spring expressing the importance of this particular day. A typical tradition on this holiday is the placements of tree swing ropes for the children. Traditional dishes preferred are fish and rice pudding.

77


Jazz performance at Shkodra Train station


30 April

International Jazz Day Train station, city streets and Migjeni Theatre, Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality and Migjeni Theatre Various musical performances on Jazz International Day This festival starts at the train station in Tirana and goes on along the entire journey on the train to Shkodra, where music of the thirties is performed and the improvised outfits are a turn back in time. Afterwards, various bands perform jazz music on the main city streets, while the final concert is held at Migjeni Theatre.

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‘Pjetër Gaci’ Award


April

‘Pjetër Gaci’ Award Shkodra City ‘Pjetër Gaci’ Cultural Centre Annual award for the interpreters of cultivated music The ‘Pjeter Gaci’ Award is an annual international contest for artists performing cultivated music, organized by the ‘Pjeter Gaci’ Cultural Centre.

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Shkodra Wind Band, concert in front of the City Hall


April

Wind Band Concert Shkodra City ‘Pjetër Gaci’ Cultural Centre Annual concert of the wind band established in1876 The Wind Band Formation is one of the unique artistic values of Shkodra city. Its history dates back to 1876, and this concert marks the most important annual event of the Shkodra Wind Band.

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Taken from the cycling competitions in Shkodra


April

‘Agim Tafili’ Cycling Tour Shkodra Municipality Shkodra Municipality, Vllaznia Sports Club and Albanian Federation of Cycling International Cycling Tournament The international tournament, which has now become a tradition in the city, is an event organized to honour , Agim Tafili (1960-2012), a cyclist champion of Shkodra and Albania.

85


A winner at the ‘Vllaznia’ Boxing Memorial


April

‘Vllaznia’ Boxing Memorial ‘Qazim Dervishi’ Sports Palace, Shkodra City Vllaznia Sports Club and Shkodra Municipality International sports event This international sports event is organized in the city of Shkodra. The adult category boxing team has participated in this event for 13 consecutive years, winning the championship and being awarded with gold, silver and bronze medals, 42 medals in total.

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May


Tourist season opening in VelipojĂŤ, Shkodra


1 May

Tourist season opening in Velipojë Plazh Velipojë, Velipojë AU, Shkodra Municipality Shkodra Municipality and Velipojë Administrative Unit Event to promote tourism in Adriatik sea shore Velipoja is one of the most popular destinations in the Albanian coast. 1st of May marks the opening of the new tourist season and is celebrated with a variety of artistic, youthful and sports activities organized in the centre of the beach.

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Partial view of Shkodra city taken from Rozafa Castle


1 May

International Labour Day Shkodra County Friends and family Outdoor picnic and walks in nature Labour Day’s celebration with festive parades in Albania commenced only after World War II, imposed by totalitarianism. After the ‘90s, the enthusiasm of this day’s celebrations started to fade insensibly, although some trade unions or workers protest in the framework of this day’s symbolism. However, May the 1st is mostly a holiday to go on a picnic, for a hike or walk with friends and family.

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Partial view of Mbishkodra Field


First Wednesday of May

Saint George Koplik town, MalĂŤsi e Madhe Municipality Families in town and the areas surrounding Koplik Perennial celebration of the beginning of spring Each year, women decorate houses with flowers and boughs, especially doors and windows. Fish and rice pudding are the traditional dishes preferred at lunch and dinner on this holiday.

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Grizhë


First Thursday of May

Saint George Grizhë, Reç, Shkrel AU, Malësi e Madhe Municipality Village locals where it is celebrated Celebration dedicated to the beginning of spring As the holiday symbolizes the arrival of spring season, in all homes, doorsteps are covered with green leaves. A typical tradition on this holiday is the placements of tree swing ropes for the children. Traditional food: fish and rice pudding.

97


Partisan cenotaph at Martyrs’ cemetary, Shkodra


5 May

Homeland Martyrs’ Day Shkodra County World War II veterans Homage to the martyrs’ graves and visits to their families May 5th, 1942, as it represents the assassination of the young communist Qemal Stafa by the fascist invaders, has turned into the Homeland Martyrs’ Day in Albania’s modern history. On this occasion, World War II veterans pay homage to the martyrs’ cemeteries near the cenotaphs of the fallen in their respective cities, and pay visits to the martyrs’ families.

99


Flowers’ Day in Shkodra city


6 May

Flowers’ Day Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality A holiday that revokes the tradition of flower cultivation by Shkodra families The tradition of celebrating the beauty of flowers dates back to the 1930s. Shkodra it’s otherwise known as the ‘city of flowers’ and has maintained for centuries the beautiful tradition of cultivating and caring for flowers. The cities attachment to nature and art has been the inspiration of more than 150 songs dedicated to flowers. Every May 6th, Shkodra turns into a large courtyard of colours and aromas.

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Flowers’ Day celebration in Bushat AU


6 May

Flowers’ Day Bushat, Bushat AU, Vau Dejes Municipality Vau Dejes Municipality Pagan celebration symbolizing the beginning of spring A fair of local products has been organized in Bushat every 6th of May, since 2008. The concerts and other arranged events create a festive environment. This holiday symbolized the beginning of spring. The participation in the fair is extensive and products from all the region of the Municipality are promoted.

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Illustration


6 May

Saint George Shkodra Municipality Families in urban and rural areas, regardless of their beliefs Family celebration of a pagan origin dedicated to the beginning of spring ShĂŤngjergj is one of the most popular holidays, celebrated in all the area in the region regardless of their beliefs. Its pagan tradition marks the beginning of spring, so homes are decorated with fresh leaves and flowers every year. There is some typical menu of the day including milk and its by-products as well as raw vegetables for breakfast, whereas fish from the lake or river preferred at lunch.

105


Xhan, Pult


8 May

Saint Nicholas of May SumÍ, Bruçaj, Xhan, Pult AU, Shkodra Municipality Families in these villages Religious celebration in the honour of parish defenders The locals have been celebrating these religious holidays for as long as they can remember, and Saint Nicholas of May is one of them. These holidays were among the few opportunities for communication between the locals in the highlands because village settlements are very separated. To this day, every family sacrifices a cattle and cooks skewered meat because they expect relatives and guests. The holiday is celebrated at dinner on May 8th and during the day on the 9th. The dinners are served with delicious food, drinks and desserts while lighting up the atmosphere with candles. 107


Shkrel valley


9 May

Saint Nicholas of Spring Shkrel AU, MalÍsi e Madhe Municipality Church of Shkrel and the community Perennial celebration in the honour of Saint Nicholas The day of the relocation of Saint Nicholas’ remains to Bari, Italy on May 9th in the 11th century, is also celebrated in Albania. In the ancient times, the feast was known as Saint Nicholas of Spring because it coincided with the day when the highlanders went out with cattle to camp in the mountains. Nowadays in Shkrel, the feast is celebrated with a sermon at the Catholic Church and later on the children in the area give artistic performances at the organized concert. 109


Rozafa caslte, Shkodra


9 May

Europe Day Rozafa Castle, Shkodra City Regional Directorate of National Culture, Shkodra Activities with balloon in Shkodra Castle Building up balloons from 10 different schools in the city, which are designed with different logos by the students themselves. Later on the balloons are launched.

111


View from Shllak


10 May

Shën Llezhdri/Saint Alexander Benë, Vukjakaj Gegaj, Palaj, Kroni i Madh, Barcollë, Vukaj, AU Shllak, Vau Dejes Municipality Catholic community in the area Religious celebration in the area Shën Llezhdri is a religious holiday dedicated to the sixteenth-century Catholic saint - Alexander. It is celebrated by the believers of all the villages of Shllak Administrative Unit of Vau Dejes Municipality, such as Bene, Vukjakaj-Gegaj, Palaj, Big Kroni, Barcollë, Vukaj etc.

113


Participating instrumentalists in FushĂŤ-ArrĂŤz Festival


May

National Festival of the Little Folk Instrumentalist Fushe Arrez City Fushë-Arrëz Municipality, Children Cultural Centre in Fushë-Arrëz National festival for the promotion of cultural heritage values The National Festival of the Little Folk Instrumentalist was first held in 2004 and it is one of a kind event throughout Albania. The days of this festival are a genuine joy where the whole small towns of Fushë-Arrëz is included and participates through organizing exhibitions, fairs etc. The hospitality and accommodation of the children participating in the family homes in the area is a very interesting and typical feature of the locals. This is owing to the traditional hospitality of the area, as well as the lack of hotel facilities in town. During the 15 organized festival, folk ensembles participated from all over Albania, but also from Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro etc. 115


First edition poster of Ekrani i Artit, 2017


16 - 20 May

Ekrani i Artit Migjeni Theatre, backyards of traditional houses, Shkodra City ArtHouse, Arka Youth Centre, Marubi National Museum of Photography, Migjeni Theatre, Goethe Institute Contemporary film festival since 2017 Ekrani i Artit - 2019 was launched on May 16th at Migjeni Theatre. The films are shown day by day in the backyards of Shkodra, followed by talks and discussions with the filmmakers, music performances etc. The event is organized in collaboration with the international film festival ‘Lo schermo dell’arte’ in Florence, which brings to Shkodra the Oberhaussen Film Festival on Tour from Germany and a selection of the Van Abbe Museum archives in the Netherlands. 117


Historical Museum of the city, Shkodra


18 May

International Museum Day Middle and high schools, Shkodra City Regional Directorate of National Culture, Shkodra Student workshop on the framework of International Museum Day International Museum Day is celebrated in Shkodra through a workshop with middle and high school students. Students will build cultural monument models through using and processing of recyclable materials, in the framework of ‘building my own monument’ motto.

119


Weaver


18 May

‘Jehona e zejeve’ handicraft exhibition Historical Museum Shkodra City Shkodra Historical Museum and the Regional Directorate of National Culture, Shkodra Interactive handicraft exhibition on the occasion of National Museum Day On the occasion International Museum Day on May 18th, the Shkodra Historical Museum organizes an interactive exhibition of handicrafts produced by Shkodra masters entitled ‘Jehona e zejeve’. Various artisans demonstrate the process of product craftsmanship during the exhibition.

121


Children during the workshop


21 May

World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development Middle and high school, Shkodra City Regional Directorate of National Culture, Shkodra Workshop on cultural heritage The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development taken over by the Regional Directorate of National Culture in Shkodra is an opportunity to organize handicraft courses on cultural heritage, embroidery, weaving, stone and wood carving etc.

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Illustration


24 May

Eid-al-Fitr Shkodra County Muslim community Largest celebration of Muslim believers Muslim believers celebrate the Eid-al-Fitr on the occasion of concluding the month of Ramadan by starting the day with morning prayers at the mosque and then visiting relatives and friends accompanied by wishes, gifts, traditional lunch gatherings etc.

125


View from the Albanian Alps National Park


24 May

European Day of Parks ‘Luigj Gurakuqi’ University, Shkodra City Regional Directorate of National Culture, Shkodra Lectures on the arrangement of parks and gardens Lecture series with the students of the University of Shkodra on the planning and arrangement of natural parks, gardens, roundabouts, etc., in the service of tourism and cultural heritage.

127


Celebration at Vukel Church, Kelmend


24 May

Zoja of Vukel VukĂŤl, Kelmend AU, MalĂŤsi e Madhe Municipality Catholic church Religious celebration on the honour of Zoja - village patronage This religious holiday originated in the 16th century and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In most of the villages of Kelmend, it is celebrated through the holy sermon held in the village churches attended by locals as well as friends who come to visit.

129


Theth valley


25 May

Theth Day Theth, Shalë AU, Shkodra Municipality Shkodra Municipality Promotional activity for tourism in Theth National Park Shkodra Municipality annually organizes the ‘Theth Day’ traditional festival on the occasion tourism season opening in Theth. This aims to promote the natural and cultural values, local indigenous products of the area, as well as presenting what tourism offers. The festival includes folk concerts, traditional food fairs, guided hiking in the main attractions of the area. Theth National Park is the first PA in the Albanian Alps and includes several legally protected NMs and CMs. 131


Guri i Zi


31 May

Let’s get to know Guri i Zi Guri i Zi, Guri i Zi AU, Shkodra Municipality Shkodra Municipality and Guri i Zi Administrative Unit Promotional event for Guri i Zi Administrative Unit Shkodra Municipality has taken the initiative to promote the values and resources of the cultural, natural heritage and territorial products of all the Administrative Units that lie within its territory. The fair features typical products of the administrative unit of Guri i Zi, where farmers, families and businesses are invited to promote agricultural, handicraft and tourist products to support economic development in the area. 133


Taken from the first photographic exhibition ‘Shkodra - my family, my bicycle, my story’


31 May

Shkodra - my family, my culture, my story Shkodra City GO2 organization Annual photographic exhibition on collective memory ‘Shkodra - my family, my culture, my story’ is the subject of a photo exhibition in the framework of the third competition on collective memory, organized by GO2. The first competition and exhibition was dedicated to bicycles (2016), the second was dedicated to dwellings (2018), while the third was dedicated to the artistic and cultural life developed within families and social groups. The best photographs of each competition are exhibited as well as published in a dedicated album in Albanian and English. 135


Honey from the bee keeper Shaqaj


May

Honey Day BajzĂŤ, Kastrat AU, MalĂŤsi e Madhe Municipality Landi Shaqaj with NGOs and local government collaboration Local celebration for the promotion of bee-keeping and honey extraction Honey Day is a local festival that was organized for the first time in 2019, on the period when honey is extracted. Landi Shaqaj is a bee keeper who aims to promote the care of bees, as well as the tradition of honey extraction. A fair with plenty bee products as well as food containing honey are arranged during the day.

137


Taken from Different Trains Festival in Shkodra


May

Different Trains Festival Shkodra City Different Trains Room music festival The Different Trains Festival is an activity on tour, which starts from March to June in the cities of Shkodra, KukÍs and Korça. Shkodra city hosts this event in May. The concerts are given in significant halls, in front of various audiences in order to promote cultural tourism through the performance of room music.

139


Shkodra became and remains the only centre of higher education in north of Albania when ‘Luigj Gurakuqi’ University was established in 1957. The pre-university education system has about 207 schools, out of which 152 are compulsory primary education and the rest are secondary and vocational education.


The territory of Shkodra county is crossed by a dense river network, mainly including the basins of Drin and Buna rivers, which are dominated by Shala, followed by Cemi and Kiri. There are also many smaller rivers extending to a large number of brooks descending from the Albanian Alps. Part of this county’s water resources is also the Shkodra Lake, which is meanwhile the largest in the Balkans. There are some alpine lakes in the region, as well as a large number of artificial lakes, mainly along the Drin river bed (Fierza Lake, Koman Lake and Vau Dejes).



June


One of the previous Children’s Festival


1 June

National Children’s Song Festival Migjeni Theatre, Shkodra City Shkodra Children Cultural Centre The oldest children’s song festival The National Children’s Song Festival was first held in May, 1963. This festival became a city tradition by bringing together each year the best creations of the renowned music authors. Since 1993, this event has become a nationwide festival and providing the most significant stage for the children from all Albanian speaking regions.

145


View of Fushë-Arrëz city


1 June

Children’s Festival Fushe Arrez City World Children’s Day Event on the occasion of Children’s Day International Children’s Day is marked by various activities taking place in Shkodra county as they are in all over Albania. The students of ‘Pjeter Arbnori’ middle school in Fushë-Arrëz collaborating with the Children’s Cultural Center, give a festive concert in the city centre on the occasion of this holiday.

147


Church in Hajmel


First Sunday of June

Saint Fara Dheu i LehtĂŤ, Hajmel AU, Vau Dejes Municipality Catholic community and the church in the area Religious celebration Saint Fara is a religious holiday for Catholic believers, which is celebrated with family and friends, especially in the village of Dheu i LehtĂŤ of the Hajmel Administrative Unit in Vau Dejes Municipality.

149


Shala river estuary in Lesniqe, Shosh


7 June

Let’s get to know Shosh Shosh AU, Shkodra Municipality Shkodra Municipality and Shosh Administrative Unit Event promoting the Shosh Administrative Unit Shkodra Municipality has taken the initiative to promote the values and resources of the cultural, natural heritage and territorial products of all the Administrative Units that are on its authority. Local products fairs and art concerts by school children groups are arranged on this day. Typical local products of the Shosh administrative unit are displayed at the fair, where farmers, families and businesses are invited to promote agricultural, livestock and other products. 151


Taken from the ‘Days of Puka culture’ event


9 June

Puka Culture’s Day Puka town Puka Municipality Concert promoting Puka cultural values The main event of this day is the concert featuring the Puka Ensemble created in 1948, where singers from Puka and all over Albania, as well as artists living abroad. The event aims at identifying, promoting and preserving cultural values of Puka, which is marked by this ensemble’s winning of the ‘Alfred Toepfer” European Folk Award in Germany on June, 9th 2001, with the support of the humanist Marianne Graf. 153


Rally Albania at the hilly terrain in Puka


9 June

Rally Albania Puka Municipality Rally Albania International mountain car racing contest For many years now, the international mountain car racing is one of the most dangerous sports in Albania’s tradition, which includes territories in Puka in its itineraries. The first stage of this race, the Tirana-Valbona itinerary passes through Puka, crossing the territory of this municipality in the middle.

155


Craft Day


10 June

International Craft Day Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality Fair of handicraft products in Shkodra International Craft Day aims to bring attention to and revive the tradition of handicrafts in the Shkodra region. It consists of a fair of handicrafts and craftsmen demonstrating the process of creating their products.

157


IballĂŤ, Puka


12 June

Feast of Saint Anthony Villagies in Iballë AU, Fushë Arrëz Municipality Families and the local community Religious celebration of the Catholic community in the honour of the parish defender The celebrations for Saint Anthony, whose name was given to the church of Iballa (Saint Ndou – Albanian version), begins on the evening of June 12th, when every family sacrifices cattle and roasts it on a spit and of course, cooking other traditional meals and cakes. After the Church of Saint Ndou in Laç of Kurbin, Saint Ndou Church in Iballa is second by the large number of pilgrims it attracts. The holiday candle lights up and families host guests, while a special sermon is held in the church. 159


Church in Iballe, Puka


12 June

Saint Anthony’s Eve Iballë, Iballë AU, Fushë-Arrëz Municipality The church and locals Religious celebration of the Catholic community This is the manifestation of one of the most popular saints of the Catholic community which is celebrated by the whole area of Iballa, but also by the entire Fushe-Arrëz Municipality. It is mainly celebrated in the church of Iballa, which is a religious and historical monument, as well as in other churches in the area.

161


Blerim, Fushë-Arrëz


12 June

Saint Paul’s Eve Blerim AU, Fushë-Arrëz Municipality The church and local community Religious celebration of the Catholic community This feast dedicated to Paul the Apostle, is celebrated by the Catholic community of the locals at Blerim Administrative Unit of Fushë Arrëz. The celebration is generally organized in-between family and friends, and a sermon is held at Blerim church.

163


Tamara, Kelmend


June

Mountain Tourism Day Razëm, Shkrel AU, Tamarë, Kelmend AU, Malësi e Madhe Municipality Malësi e Madhe Municipality and NGOs Season opening of mountain tourism The season opening of tourism in Malesia e Madhe is marked by a series of activities in some of the largest inhabited mountainous centres of this municipality. Folk music performed with gusle, çifteli reverberates in addition to outdoor folk and modern music. Visitors and locals can enjoy the traditional products offered at fairs, dominated by juices of forest fruits, some types of cheese and liqueurs, brandy, wine and more. 165


Tourist season opening - celebration in Vau DejĂŤs


13 June

Summer tourist season opening Vau DejĂŤs town Vau Dejes Municipality, Children Cultural Centre Celebration of the tourist summer season opening The opening of the summer tourist season in Vau Dejes is done in collaboration with the Children Cultural Centre and the businesses of the area, through a fair of local products, as well as artistic activities aimed at promoting the cultural, natural and tourist values of the Vau Dejes territory.

167


Tamare village in Kelmend


13 June

Saint Anthony’s Day Tamarë, Kelmend AU, Malësi e Madhe Municipality About 5 years ago Religious celebration in the honour of Saint Anthony One of the most popular saints in the world, Saint Anthony (Saint Anthony of Padua in the 13th century), is also beloved by Christian believers in Albania, and especially among northern Catholics. The anniversary of his death, June 13, is commemorated through a holy sermon in the Tamare village church in Kelmend, which is attended by all the locals.

169


Shkodra Lake shore


15 June

Lake Day Shkodra Lake, Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality and NGOs Water sports and cultural activities ‘Shkodra Lake Day’ is an event aimed at promoting the exceptional values of Shkodra Lake. This day is celebrated with various activities of cultural and sports framework, having participants from Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro etc.

171


Ramadan Sokoli


21 June

World Music Day Hodo Sokoli’s home, Shkodra City Regional Directorate of National Culture, Shkodra Activity dedicated to the Albanian musicologist Ramadan Sokoli On the occasion of World Music Day, the Regional Directorate of National Culture of Shkodra organizes a promotional event dedicated to the prominent Albanian musicologist of the 20th century, Ramadan Sokoli. This event intentionally coincides with the musicologist’s birthday and is organized in his own apartment CM of the first category.

173


Viva la Musica


21 June

Viva la Musica Shkodra City Rozafa Expression Concert on World Music Day Among the activities marking the World Music Day on June 21st, Viva la Musica concert revives the city life of Shkodra.

175


Village view in Temal


22 June

Saint John Kishë-Arrë, Kajvall, Malagji, Kllogjen, Temal AU, Vau Dejes Municipality Catholic church and local believers Religious celebration Saint John is one of the many holidays that Catholic believers in the villages of Kishë-Arra, Kajvall, Malagji, Kllogjen, etc. of Vau Deja Municipality celebrate with their families and friends.

177


SelcĂŤ, Kelmend


23 June

Greça Convention Selcë, Kelmend AU, Malësi e Madhe Municipality Commemoration of the Highland uprising, 1911 Greça Convention day The 23rd of June marks the Greça Convention in Selce, Kelmend. As a matter of fact, the Convention held its work for two weeks (from 10 to 23 June 1911), but the date 23 was chosen as it coincided with the announcement of the 12 demands of what is now known as the Greça Memorandum of Autonomy, which inspired the Highland uprising against ottoman invasion. Currently, this event is commemorated through official ceremonies and artistic activities. 179


Shegan eye, BajzĂŤ


28 June

Saint Peter and Saint Paul Bajzë, Kastrat AU, Malësi e Madhe Municipality Church in Bajzë and the locals of Catholic religion New celebration in Bajzë, which has started in 2010 This religious holiday is celebrated as a commemoration of two of the apostles of Catholicism, Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The celebrations for this day have been relatively new since 2010 in Bajze which is included in the area of Kelmend. In addition to the church sermon, there is also an art concert for attendees.

181


Partial view of Hajmel


28 June

Feast of Saint Paul and Saint Peter Hajmel AU, Vau Dejes Municipality Vau Dejes Municipality in collaboration with the Parish of Saint Paul and Saint Peter Celebration of the community of Catholic families In the honour of the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, in the village of Hajmel of the Hajmel Administrative Unit, Vau Dejes Municipality, there is a celebration organized June 28th with concerts and other artistic activities, bicycle racing, local products fair etc.

183


Trail in Madhnaq village, PukĂŤ


28 June

Feast of Saint Paul Mardhnaq, Katund, Breg, QelĂŤz AU, Blinisht, RrapĂŤ AU, Puka Municipality Families and the Catholic church Religious celebration of Catholic community The day of Saint Paul the Apostle is one of the oldest religious holidays celebrated by the entire Catholic community in some villages of the Puka Municipality. The eve of this feast is celebrated on June 27th with roasted meat and other traditional dishes, whereas the following day, in addition to the festive sermon, visits and congratulations are exchanged between the families of the Catholic religion. 185


Holy stone, Zezë, Pukë


28 June

Pilgrimage to the Holy Stone Zezaj, RrapĂŤ AU, Puka Municipality Local community Pilgrimage to the Holy Stone The pilgrimage to the Holy Stone is a mostly youthful activity, where participants volunteer at a marching towards one of the geological monuments located near the town of Puka. The Holy Stone is a polygon-shaped granite statue that, according to local legends, preserves the Skanderbeg horse trail. The monument is located about 538 m above sea level, on the Puka-Zezaj road.

187


Leqet e Hotit oversee, Kelmend


29 June

Saint Peter Kelmend AU, Malësi e Madhe Municipality The church and village locals Old religious holiday mainly celebrated by mountaineers All newly married couples during the year, namely since last year’s Saint Peter’s, after greeting each other, kindly choose the most beautiful couple without a jury. Later on there are folk games arranged, such as horse racing, rope retreat, swordcutting with rope made with goat fur, hoods, running races, men’s wrestling, and more. At noon, the priest holds the sermon and then the games continue again until the winners are determined. 189


Predelec, Kelmend


29 June

Saint Peter’s Day Qafë Predeleci, Kelmend AU, Malësi e Madhe Municipality Kelmendi guest house and locals Religious and social celebration initiated centuries ago This religious holiday which started to be celebrated centuries ago, although it was interrupted in the mid-20th century, it has resonated spontaneously involving more and more locals. In addition to church sermons, residents organize folk games, arena of brides and boys, maja krahut songs and more. The winners and losers know how to respect each other at festivals of this kind where the gusle and çiftelia are heard all the way to the highest summits. 191



July


VelipojĂŤ, on the beach


July

Velipoja Summer Fair VelipojĂŤ, VelipojĂŤ AU, Shkodra Municipality Association of Albanian Artisans Handicrafts fair A fair of traditional products is organized on the multipurpose coast of Velipoja, at the peak of the tourist season.

195


Poster of Beach Volley in VelipojĂŤ


July

Beach Volley Plazh,VelipojĂŤ, VelipojĂŤ AU, Shkodra Municipality Shkodra Municipality and NGOs Beach Volleyball Championship on the coast of Velipoja Every year on Velipoja beach a series of beach volleyball matches are held with the participation of visitors and athletes from all over Albania and the region. Matches take place in the form of competitions in different categories.

197


Wind band parades on the streets of Shkodra City


July

National Wind Band Gathering Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality National competition of wind bands in Albania This national competition brings to Shkodra all similar active bands of Albania and is conducted in the form of a competition among these bands. Concerts and parades take place outdoors in the city.

199


Buna River bank in Dajรง


5 July

Let’s get to know Dajç Dajç AU, Shkodra Municipality Shkodra Municipality and Dajç Administrative Unit Promotional event for Dajç Administrative Unit Shkodra Municipality has taken the initiative to promote the values and resources of the cultural, natural heritage and territorial products of all the Administrative Units that lie within its territory. On this day fairs with local products are organized, as well as art concerts by school children groups.

201


‘Interval’, oil on canvas, painted by John Seymour Lucas, 1905


6 -15 July

International Festival of Baroque Music VoxBaroque Shkodra City VoxBaroque Centre International Festival of Baroque Music Shkodra is part of the Concert Tour of the International Festival of Baroque Music, which also includes Gjirokastra, Berat and Korรงa. The concerts are a collaboration of UART students and the Milan Conservatory, aiming to share knowledge as well as art education for young people.

203


Pult, Dukagjin, Shkodra


15 July

Let’s get to know Pult Pult AU, Shkodra Municipality Shkodra Municipality and Pult Administrative Unit Promotional event of Pult Administrative Unit Shkodra Municipality has taken the initiative to promote the values and resources of the cultural, natural heritage and territorial products of all the Administrative Units that lie within its territory. On this day there are fairs organized in the Pult area, as well as art concerts by school children groups.

205


Performance during the Festival of Music


July

Festival of Music Migjeni Theatre, Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality, Migjeni Theatre and NGOs Festival dedicated to International Music Day The Music Festival known as ‘International Music Day’ was created by Jack Lang on June 21st, 1981 and is celebrated worldwide in the form of a music festival. The ‘Festival of Music’ event is organized in Shkodra, in the form of a concert with classical music by Albanian and foreign composers and musicians.

207


Poster of Za Fest 1


July

Zâ Festival Theth, ShalÍ AU, Shkodra Municipality NGOs and Shkodra Municipality Live concert with contemporary music in the heart of the Albanian Alps In the centre of Theth, near the church, Za (voice) Festival concert has been organized since 2017. It is a musical event with the participation of Albanian singers and instrumentalists, who play contemporary music.

209


Reรง canyon


20 July

Saint Mëdhia (Saint Elias) Reç, AU Shkrel, Malësi e Madhe Municipality Catholic church Religious celebration in honour of the prophet Elias The reverence for one of the ancient prophets, dating from the ninth century BC, is the motive for the celebrating the 20th of July in some villages of the Malesi e Madhe. Thus, a solemn sermon is held in the Catholic church of Reç in honor of Saint Mëdhia (Saint Elias)

211


Spathar, Vau DejĂŤs


22 July

Saint Mary KarmÍ, Spathar, Vau Dejes Municipality Church and local believers Religious celebration of Catholic community Saint Mary’s is a religious holiday of the Catholic believers, which is celebrated in the Village of Karma, Vau Dejes. Traditionally, it is a holiday that gathers friends and locals of Catholic faith hosting friends and relatives to celebrate together on this day.

213


Bushat, PukĂŤ


25 July

Feast of Shna Prenda Bushat, Dushnez, QelĂŤz AU, Puka Municipality Families of Catholic religion and church Religious celebration in honour of the protector of villages Like most religious holidays in rural areas of the country, Shna Prenda (Shen e Premtja) has a family character, celebrated in the villages of Bushat, Dushnes etc. of Qelez Administrative Unit, Puka Municipality . Each home prepares the best traditional meals, centred on locally sourced beverages and drinks. At the eve of July 24th the candle of the feast is lit, while the 25th of July the dinner is also set for friends and relatives. 215


Landscape in Shkrel


26 July

Saint Prenda Shkrel AU, MalÍsi e Madhe Municipality Catholic church Religious celebration, otherwise called the Feast of Daughters The feast is dedicated to the martyr of St. Prenda’s Catholic Church, known as the Eye Healer. She lived in the II century. As for the tradition in Shkrel, the feast is celebrated in the churches of the village (Shkrel, Razem etc) through the holy sermon. Afterwards, children and art groups give performances to the audience. This holiday brings many visitors to the area.

217


Konej church, Bushat, Vau DejĂŤs


26 July

Saint Prenda Konej, Bushat AU, Vau Dejes Municipality Community and Catholic church Religious celebration Like most of the Catholic villages of northern Albania, the village of Konej in Vau Dejes Municipality celebrates St. Preda’s Day as a family holiday for families and friends to gather on the occasion.

219


Mosque minarets in the western landscape of Shkodra


31 July

Eid-al-Adha Shkodra County Komuniteti mysliman Feast of sacrifice for Muslim believers Eid al-Adha is the holiday of Muslim believers following the pilgrimage to Mecca. The day begins with the Eid prayer and then, the slaughtered cattle are distributed to the families in need. At noon, everyone gathers for family lunch.

221



August


During the celebration of Days of Mjeda


1 August

Days of Mjeda KukÍl, Bushat AU, Vau Dejes Municipality Vau Dejes Municipality, Ndre Mjeda Museum Centre Commemorating day of the poet Ndre Mjeda The village of Kukel commemorates since August 1st, 2011, the death of the poet Ndre Mjeda, who served for 30 years as a priest in the village until World War II. On this occasion, with the initiative of Dom Nik Ukgjin, scientific conferences with international participation are organized, art concerts etc. The day coincides with Saint Stephen’s Day, the feast of Kukel village.

225


Celebrations in the church of BajzĂŤ


2 August

Niesa of Kastratit AU Kastrat, MalĂŤsi e Madhe Municipality Catholic church Perennial celebration of Catholic believers On the occasion of this festive celebration, which coincides with the day of Saint Eusebius of Verchelli Catholic Church, a special Mass is held at the Kastrati Catholic Church in Malesi e Madhe, during which congratulations are given by the priest. The niesa itself is part of the urge.

227


Barbullush village


15 August

The Assumption of Mary in Heaven Barbullush, Bushat AU, Kaçë, Naraç, Vau Dejes Municipality Catholic church and believers Religious celebration The Assumption of Zoja (lady) in Heaven is one of the early holidays traditionally celebrated among families and friends by Catholic believers in the villages of Barbullush, Kaçë, Naraç etc., which are part of Vau Dejes Municipality.

229


Logu i BjeshkĂŤve, a contest of beauty and garment - xhubleta


Second Saturday of August

Logu i Bjeshkëve Qafë Predelec, Kelmend AU, Malësi e Madhe Municipality Malësi e Madhe Municipality and NGOs Oldest local festival dedicated to the beauty preserved in the Albanian The Logu i Bjeshkëveis one of the oldest non-religious festival celebrated annually since 1999 in the heart of the high-lands. It aims to highlight the unique garment in the highlands – the xhubleta and keep the tradition of this dress alive. This is preserved by celebrating through a competition of girls wearing xhubleta who compete to choose the most beautiful of the mountains. Amidst a lively atmosphere full of folk songs and dances and an local food fair, more and more guests spend an unforgettable day at Qafë Predelec. 231


Boge valley


16 August

Immigrant Day BogĂŤ, AU Shkrel, MalĂŤsi e Madhe Municipality Kisha dhe emigrantĂŤt Local festival dedicated to immigrants It is a local festival funded and organized by immigrants. It coincides with the saint of the XIII-XIV centuries, Saint Roch, since he too lived for a long time emigrating from one place to another. The celebrations open with a sermon in the Catholic Church and then the festive concert followers with singers from the highlands.

233


Church of Rranxa


16 August

Saint Roch Bushat, MelgushĂŤ, Rranxa, Mali i Jushit, Bushat AU, Vau Dejes Municipality Catholic church and believers Religious celebration Saint Roch is a religious holiday of Catholic believers, which is celebrated by the families locals in the villages of Bushat, Melgush, Rranxa, Mali Jushit etc. of Vau Dejes Municipality.

235


Church of Bajze


16 August

Saint Roch BajzĂŤ, Kastrat AU, MalĂŤsi e Madhe Municipality Catholic church and village locals Religious celebration in honour of Saint Roch The feast dedicated to the healer of cholera is celebrated by holding a sermon at Bajza Catholic Church in Kastrati, and after that, a traditional music and dance concert by locals follows.

237


Jazz Festival stage in front of Shkodra City Hall


August

Jazz Festival Migjeni Theatre, promenade, high schools, Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality, Migjeni Theatre, high schools and NGOs Weekly Jazz music festival The Shkodra Jazz Festival brings together international artists every year, who bring to Shkodra the beauty of this music genre, known for its history through a hundred years. The Jazz Festival consists of a week of activities, which in-clude meetings, open lessons for pupils and students, as well as concerts held on various streets in the city.

239


Screenings at the square in front of City Hall, an event since 2016


August

Summer cinema The park in front of City Hall, Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality and NGOs Screenings of films in public areas of the city For the first time in the city of Shkodra a special day is organized for the screening of films on the big screen in one of the main city squares.

241


Kryezi


August

Djergia e Bjeshkëve Kryezi, Qafë Mali AU, Fushë-Arrëz Municipality Local community Festival dedicated to nature and culinary This holiday is celebrated by the locals of Kryezi village and its focus is the shepherds’ return from the stables with the collected products. The ending of summer season of sheep in the mountains is marked by celebrations through traditional foods in the area.

243


Bronx ring found in Koman


23 - 25 August

Komani Arkeo Festival Koman, Temal AU, Vau Dejes Municipality ArkeoDrin, Vau i Dejës Municipality, COSPE, GO2, Ministria e Kulturës Arbër heritage as the engine of identity, economic and cultural development in the region The 10th anniversary of the initiation of archaeological excavations in the Dalmatian (Koman) settlement by the Albanian-French mission is celebrated with the Komani Archaeo Festival, which lasts three consecutive days. It is organized with a purpose of turning it into a tradition as the National Festival of Archaeology. The holiday includes hiking in the mountainous Koman settlement, boat trip to Sardinia; experimental archaeology, dressing in medieval costumes; me-dieval cuisine; concerts; screenings of films on archaeological discoveries etc. 245


Captures of youthful enthusiasm at Full Moon festival


First Friday of August

Full Moon TamarĂŤ, Kelmend AU, MalĂŤsi e Madhe Municipality Albano Volaj, local businesses and emigrants Youthful local festival since 2006 Aiming to revitalize the area through youth activism, the Full Moon celebration has been taking place since 2006 in the centre of Tamara village. Unlike the many traditional family holidays celebrated in the area, this holiday tends to be modern, enticing young people with local products, contemporary but also traditional folk music, as well as late night dances.

247


View from Gjegjani, PukĂŤ


28 - 29 August

Cheese Dinner Shkozë, Gojan, Gjegjan AU, Puka Municipality Local community Local festival on the occasion of sheep return from the stables Sheep that have been gone through summer up in the mountains since late May begin to return from the stables at the very end of August. This event, which coincides with Saint John’s Day for Catholic believers, is celebrated by this community through a get-together dinner known as the ‘Cheese Dinner’.

249


Partial view of Hotit, MalĂŤsi e Madhe


29 August

Saint John Hot, Kastrat AU, MalĂŤsi e Madhe Municipality Local community and Catholic church in Hot Religious celebration in honour of Saint John The hospitable highlanders of Hot in Malesi e Madhe celebrate the day of Saint John the Baptist of the first century, the forerunner of Jesus Christ, joined to attend the holy sermon held in the church. Then they sing and dance all to-gether in joy.

251


Bushat, Vau DejĂŤs


29 August

Saint John the Baptist Plezhë, Hoten, Shkjezë, Bushat AU, Vau Dejes Municipality Church and Catholic families in the area Celebration of Catholic believers Saint John the Baptist is one of the many celebrations of Catholic believers that is celebrated everywhere by the communities of the villages of Plezhë, Hoten, Shkjezë, etc., of Vau Dejes Municipality. The holiday is celebrated with family and friends as well as in the church through the requared ritual.

253


During the celebrations in the village of Reรง


Last Sunday of August

Festival of Reç Reç, Shkrel AU, Malësi e Madhe Municipality Malësi e Madhe Municipality , NGOs and local businesses Local festival in honour to the war of Reçi in 1943 These are celebrations made in honour of the War of Reçit in August 30-31st, 1943, which lasted three days. In the first two days folk music accompanies guests on the dining table enjoying the traditional local food. The third day begins with the homage to the cenotaph of World War II Martyrs, who fell while trying to dismiss the Italian fascists. The official ceremony is held in this country, followed by an artistic concert, attended by many other guests, in addition to the veterans and their relatives. 255


Shkodra county has 164 culture monuments in total. There are 138 in Shkodra Municipality, which is the largest concentration of these monuments, 12 CM in Vau Dejes Municipality, 8 CM in Malesi e Madhe, and 3 monuments in Puka and FushĂŤ-ArrĂŤz Municipality.


In addition to culture monuments, Shkodra County has 16 protected areas in its territory, including Komani, Ruins of Hoti Castle, Ruins of Sapa Church, Shkodra Archaeological Park etc., Theth Village Historical Centre etc. Cultural monuments occupy 14.01% of the total CM in Albania, while the ratio of the county population to that of Albania is 6.55%.



September


Albanian Gonxhe Bojaxhi (1910-1997), known as Mother Teresa of Calcutta


5 September

Mother Teresa’s Sanctification Day Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality and Shkodra-Pult Archdiocese Activities in honour of the Albanian saint Mother Teresa Born in Skopje, the Albanian saint Mother Teresa - Gonxhe Bojaxhiu has lived in Shkodra for some of her childhood. The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize (1979) was declared saint by Pope Francis I on September 5th, 2016, a date that has become a national holiday for Albania. On this occasion, besides the sermon at the Cathedral of Shkodra, concerts, meetings etc. are organized.

261


Portrait of Mother Teresa at a church


5 September

Sanctification of Mother Teresa Vau Dejës town Vau Dejes Municipality and Shën Kolli Parish Sanctification of Mother Teresa September 5th is Mother Teresa’s Day of Sanctification and since the Cathedral of Vau Dejes bears her name, a festive day of cultural and artistic activities is organized each year in her honour. Initially in Vau Dejes, Mother Teresa’s Beautification Day was celebrated on October 19th, while after Mother Teresa’s Sanctification on September 5th, 2016, it now was celebrated on this date.

263


During the swimming competition in the framework Trialthon


7 September

Triathlon Shirokë, Zogaj, Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality and NGOs Trading activity on the shores of Shkodra Lake Every year the ‘Triathlon Labeat’ activity takes place on the shores of Shkodra Lake. This activity consists of the development of three different races, 3.8km running, 10km cycling and 1.5km swimming. The participation is considerable from both Shkodra and other cities of Albania, as well as from Montenegro and Kosovo.

265


Mjedë, Vau Dejës


8 September

The birth of Zoja DejĂŤ, MjedĂŤ, Shelqet, Vau Dejes Municipality Church and community of Catholic believers Religious celebration The birth of Zoja (lady) is a holiday that Catholic believers have been celebrating since the 7th century. It is dedicated to the birth of Saint Mary the Virgin, and in the villages of Vau Dejes Municipality, such as Deja, Riga, Shelters, etc., is traditionally celebrated with family and friends.

267


Highland warries their leader PrekĂŤ Cali


9 September

Postriba Movement PostribĂŤ AU, Shkodra Municipality PostribĂŤ Administrative Unit andShkodra Municipality Activity commemorating the first anti-communist movement in Eastern Europe After the Second World War, two years after the establishment of dictatorial regimes, the first Anti-Communist Movement in Eastern Europe took place in Postribe, Shkodra. On September 9th, 1946, fierce fighting erupted between the rebel forces and the army. The aftermath of the suppression of the uprising was dozens people shot without trial, just as many houses burned down and hundreds arrested. 269


Mes Bridge (1770) in PostribĂŤ AU


September

Let’s get to know Postriba PostribÍ AU, Shkodra Municipality Shkodra Municipality and PostribÍ Administrative Unit Promoting event for Postribe Administrative Unit Shkodra Municipality has taken the initiative to promote the values and resources of the cultural, natural heritage and territorial products of all the Administrative Units that lie within its territory. On this day Postribe area product fairs are organized, as well as art concerts by school children groups.

271


Bektashi tekke


9 September

Ashura Shkodra County Bektashi community Religious celebration of bektashi community One of the important holidays of the Bektashi community, not only in Albania, is Ashura. The official ceremonies for this holiday are held in tekke, which, like in the family, visits are expected and congratulations are exchanged.

273


View from Puka town


10 September

Puka Culture Heritage Day Puka town Puka Municipality, bizneset local Celebration in honour of the artist Ndue Shyti’s birthday Since 2008, Puka Culture Heritage Day is being held in Puka on September 10th. The celebration is organized in honor of the birthday of the city’s most famous artist, Ndue Shyti (1934-2017), whose name bears the Puka Cultural Centre. Artistic groups from many schools within Puka Municipality attend the big concert on the main town square.

275


StajkĂŤ church


14 September

Feast of the Cross StajkĂŤ, Bushat AU, Vau Dejes Municipality Believers and Catholic church Religious celebration Each of the holidays on the Catholic calendar is celebrated by community believers in different areas with different traditions, but the Feast of the Holy Cross is one of the most celebrated in the village of Stajka in Vau Dejes Municipality.

277


Lëpushë, Kelmend


15 - 20 September

Day of Alps Lëpushë, Kelmend AU, Malësi e Madhe Municipality Locals in the village in collaboration with some NGOs A local festival since September 20th, 2016, dedicated to the Albanian Alps Aiming to increase the appreciation and knowledge the splendour of the Alps of Kelmend, in the village of Lepushë, Kelmend, the Day of the Alps has been organized since 2016. It is a celebration the scope of which is a fair to display local products and traditional highland garment - xhubleta and çakçir, dancing and singing fold songs, etc.

279


Bicycle tour in Shkodra


21 September

Bicycles’ Day Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality Massive activities to promote the bicycle tradition in Shkodra Shkodra has a very early tradition of bicycle use and is also the number one city in the Western Balkans on this matter. Lately, this tradition risks being diminished by the increase in number of cars. Precisely with the intention to promote this city tradition as well as the benefits of using a bicycle, the Bicycles’ Day is organized every year. During this day there are exhibition on the theme of bicycle, festive concerts, bicycle competitions etc. 281


Illustration


26 September

Let’s get to know Rrethinat Rrethina AU, Shkodra Municipality Shkodra Municipality and Rrethina Administrative Unit Promotional event for the Rrethina Administrative Unit Shkodra Municipality has taken the initiative to promote the values and resources of the cultural, natural heritage and territorial products of all the Administrative Units that lie within its territory. On this day there are organized fairs with products prepared by craftsmen and housewives in the area where the Administration Unit are located, as well as art concerts by groups of children from the schools of this Administrative Unit. 283


View from and exhibition on cultural heritage in Shkodra, 2016


26 - 30 September

European Heritage Days High schools, Shkodra City Regional Directorate of National Culture Workshop and exhibition of improvised archaeological objects As part of the ‘Art - Archaeology - Tourism’ project, the Regional Directorate of National Culture organizes European Heritage Days from 26-30 September. Through high school students’ workshops archaeological surveys are improvised, while the extracted objects are reconstructed with drawing, watercolour and sculpture techniques. As a concluding event, there is an exhibition arranged to display there works. 285


Partial view of the promenade, Shkodra


27 September

World Tourism Day Shkodra City Municipality and High School of Technology in Shkodra Fair of products produced by students from High School of Technology On the occasion of World Tourism Day, the Municipality of Shkodra and the High School of Technology in Shkodra organize a fair of products prepared by students of this school, respectively the accommodation and tourism sector.

287


During a workshop for the Albanian Alps cultural heritage, 2017


29 September

National Day of Cultural Heritage High schools, Shkodra City Regional Directorate of National Culture Workshop and exhibition of improvised archaeological objects On the occasion of the National Day of Cultural Heritage on September 29th, an exhibition of high school students’ works is opened during a special workshop on drawing, watercolour and sculpture techniques. The workshop consists of improvising archaeological surveys. This activity takes place in the framework of the project ‘Art - Archaeology - Tourism’.

289


Ahengu Shkodran in the courtyard of the Historical Museum in the city, Shkodra


29 September

Ahengu Shkodran Historical Museum, Shkodra City Municipality, Historical Museum, ‘Pjetër Gaci’ Cultural Centre, Shkodra Concert with folk civic music of Shkodra A very important part of the intangible cultural heritage of Albanians is Ahengu Shkodran. In order to preserve and promote this property, the ‘Ahengu Shkodran’ activity is held every year on National Day of Cultural Heritage. This activity takes place in the courtyard of the Shkodra Historical Museum.

291


Bogë, Malësi e Madhe


29 September

Saint Michael Bogë, Shkrel AU, Malësi e Madhe Municipality Catholic church Religious celebration in honour of Saint Michael Most religious holidays in Albania have resumed celebrations in the early 1990s, after a period of nearly three decades of atheist regime. On this occasion, the feast involves the Holy sermon being attended by the Catholic believers, followed by an artistic concert at the church’s arena, attended by locals and guests.

293


Produkts in the fair in Puka


Last Saturday of September

Fair of agricultural food products Puka town Puka Municipality and NGOs Fair and activities promoting tourism The new tradition in Puka also includes the organization of the September fair, with agricultural food products and local traditional cooking.

295


Partial view of Vig-MnelĂŤ


29 September

Saint Michael Vig, Vig-MnelĂŤ AU, NĂŤnshat, Hajmel AU, Vau Dejes Municipality Community and Catholic church Religious celebration Saint Michael is a religious celebration for Catholic believers which is celebrated in the villages of Vig, Nenshat, etc., of Vau Dejes municipality. In addition to the church sermon, tradition has it that the family should come together and welcome friends and guests as well.

297


Wine and vineyards of Kopliku winery


September

Grape Day Kopliku Winery, Koplik town, Malësi e Madhe Municipality Kopliku Winery Local festival for promoting the tradition of grape refinement Festave local të Malësisë së Madhe nuk mund t’i mungojë një festë për vjeljen e rrushit. Për këtë arsye, Kantina Kopliku ka menduar të organizojë për herë të parë në muajin September të vitit 2019, një festë të veçantë ku miqtë do t’u bashkohen vendasve për të vjelur rrushin dhe për të shijuar lëngun e fresktët të tij, të shtrydhur aty për aty. Festa do të shoqërohet edhe me muzikë dhe ushqime të zonës.

299



October


Festival at the Triesh church arena, Kelmend


First Sunday of October

Zoja of Triesh Triesh, AU Kelmend, MalĂŤsi e Madhe Municipality Catholic church Religious celebration in the area Zoja (lady) of Triesh is another name for the Feast of Zoja of Paraclete (Virgin Mary). Among the reasons this holiday is celebrated on different days is to facilitate in the villages of the Malesi e Madhe that can also be isolated and far distant from each other. Usually, the feast is celebrated through holy sermon in the village church, and then with songs and dances by the locals.

303


Village landscape, Ana e Malit


4 October

Let’s get to know Ana e Malit Ana e Malit AU, Shkodra Municipality Shkodra Municipality and Ana e Malit Administrative Unit Promotional event for the Ana e Malit Administrative Unit Shkodra Municipality has taken the initiative to promote the values and resources of the cultural, natural heritage and territorial products of all the Administrative Units that lie within its territory. On this day, fairs with local products are organized, as well as art concerts are held by school children groups.

305


Ashtë, Vau Dejës


6 October

Rruzarja (Rosary) AshtĂŤ, AU Bushat, Vau Dejes Municipality Church and Catholic believers Religious celebration October is all dedicated to the Zoja Rruzare (Lady Rosary), while in the village of Ashta in the municipality of Vau Dejes, the celebration of Rosary is celebrated on October 6th. It is a traditional celebration with families and friends.

307


Gjegjan, PukĂŤ


6 October

Saint Mary Gjegjan AU, Puka Municipality Local community and Catholic church Religious celebration of the Catholic community Saint Mary is also a religious holiday associated with the saint defenders of the parish, which for Puka is Saint Mary. At many religious holidays, celebrations begin with dinner and continue until the following day, with family lunch served with carefully chosen traditional meals where housewives and other guests are welcomed, while the church holds a sermon.

309


Lohe village, MalĂŤsi e Madhe


7 October

Shirqi (Saint Sergius) Lohe church, Shkrel AU, MalĂŤsi e Madhe Municipality Catholic church Old celebration of Catholic religion Festive sermon is held in the premises of the Loha Catholic Church in Shkrel, Malesi e Madhe. The feast is dedicated to the Catholic saint Sergius (Shirqi), in whose honour a church has been constructed since the VI century in another area of Shkodra District, on the bank of the river Buna.

311


Church of Selca, Kelmend


7 October

Lady Rosary Selcë, Kelmend AU, Malësi e Madhe Municipality Parish of Selcë village Religious holiday celebrated among friends This religious holiday of Selca village, in Kelmend, Malesi e Madhe, is associated with Zoja e Bekueme (the blessed lady). In other countries of the world the beginnings of this feast are thought to date to the end of the sixteenth century, but it was made official by Pope Pius X in 1913, naming it the Feast of the Holy Rosary.

313


Gomsiqe


18 October

Feast of Saint Luke Gomsiqe, Vau Dejes Municipality Village locals, local businesses Catholic community celebration in honour of Saint Luke This day has been celebrated in the family with friends until 1967, and has since been restored expanding exponentially through a get-together lunch between locals and those who have left. Special guests who contribute a very symbolic amount, are also a part of this feast.

315


Shkodra city view from Gajtan (southeast)


18 October

Let’s get to know the Adminitrative Units of Shkodra Municipality Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality and Administrative Units Promotional activities for the 11 Administrative Units Shkodra Municipality has taken the initiative to promote the values and resources of the cultural, natural heritage and territorial products of the 11 Administrative Units that lie on the territory of the Municipality: Shkodra, Ana e Malit, Bërdicë, Dajç, Guri i Zi, Postribë, Pult, Rrethina, Shalë, Shosh, Velipojë. This event is arranged as a Fair where the traditional products of the Municipality territory of Shkodra are exhibited. This event invites farmers, families and businesses to promote the products of the agricultural refinement, handicraft and tourism sectors, with the aim of supporting economic development throughout the territory. 317


Ducaj village, MalĂŤsi e Madhe


26 October

Saint Demetrius Ducaj church, Shkreli AU, MalĂŤsi e Madhe Municipality Catholic church and locals Religious celebration The small community of Ducaj village of the Shkrel Administrative Unit in Malesi e Madhe celebrates every October 26th, the day of Saint Demetrius, the Catholic saint of IV century. In addition to the church sermon held for all residents and friends who come especially for the holiday, the atmosphere continues at home, where lunch is served.

319


Rural landscape, Paçram, Vau Dejës


Third Sunday of October

Zoja of Shkodra Paรงram, Hajmel AU, Vau Dejes Municipality Church and Catholic community Religious celebration The influence of Zoja (lady) of Shkodra extends to many villages are inhabited by Catholic believers, including Paรงram. In this particular village the feast of Zoja of Shkodra is traditionally celebrated on the third Sunday of October, at the company of family and friends.

321


Winnners’ trophies, AniFest


October

A-Festfilm 2019 AniFest Millenium Cinema, Shkodra City AniFest International Animated Film Festival Already a tradition for the city of Shkodra, A-Festfilm is an International Animated Film Festival that aims to target ages of 3-6, 7-10 and adolescents of 11-16. Dozens of films translated with Albanian subtitles are shown throughout the festival days. As for young children at the age of 3 to 10, the films are shown dubbed in Albanian.

323


Literary Festival at the ‘Marin Barleti’ Library of Shkodra city


October

Literary Festival of Shkodra ‘Marin Barleti’ Library, Shkodra City Municipality and ‘Marin Barleti’ Library, Shkodra Annual literary festival The Literary Festival of Shkodra is one of the most important literary activities in Shkodra for several years now, which is organized by the ‘Marin Barleti’ Library in collaboration of the City Hall.

325


Interpretation during the ‘Luleborë’ Festivalat the stage of Migjeni Theatre, Shkodra


October

Civic Song Festival ‘Luleborë” Migjeni Theatre, Shkodra City ‘Pjetër Gaci’ Cultural Centre, Migjeni Theatre and Shkodra Municipality Festival of new Shkodran civil songs The ‘Luleborë’ (hydrangea) Festival is a competition among creators of music, lyrics, instrumentation and interpretations. Creativity and interpretation are appreciated by a jury of art personalities. The festival is held for 3 days in a row at Migjeni Theatre.

327



November


Folk artists at the stage of Sofra Pukjane


First Sunday of November

Sofra Pukjane Puka town Puka Municipality and Cultural Centre Celebration of Puka cultural tradition The Sofra (mahogany) gathers in the city of Puka all those belonging to or living in the area; may those be political representatives, intellectuals, entrepreneurs, artists and local leaders.

331


Mountainous view from Rrjoll


8 November

Të Shëlbuemit* Rrjoll, Shkrel AU, Malësi e Madhe Municipality Catholic church Religious celebration in honour of the Ascension of Jesus A solemn sacred sermon in honour of Ascension of Christ marks the Feast of Shelbuem in Rrjoll of Malesi e Madhe. After the sermon is held in the Catholic church, the believers wish each other best of fortune and a small celebration is organized at the church’s ground.

333


Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)


10-11 November

Ornithology Fair Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality and NGOs Bird fair For several years now, the fair of ornithology is organized in the city of Shkodra during the month of November. It has a vast participation of bird lovers from cities all over Albania and the region.

335


Basketball game at ‘Qazim Dervishi’ Sports Palace, Shkodra


11-22 November

Live with Sports Championship ‘Qazim Dervishi’ Sports Palace, Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality and Vllaznia Sports Club Hand sports championship In the framework of ‘Independence Week’ various activities, the Municipality of Shkodra organizes a hand sports championship between the high schools in the city. At the end of this tournament the best school teams are announced.

337


Road to Rrapë village, Pukë


20 November

Rrapa Festival/Puka Liberation Day Rrapë AU, Puka Municipality Puka Municipality and Fushë-Arrëz Municipality Memorial day of the battle for the liberation of Puka in 1944 It was the battle of World War II that lasted 3 days (18-20 November 1944), where the second partisan battalion of the XXII Brigade fought with the German army in the villages of Kabash and Rrape. This battle was crowned with the liberation of the town of Puka. This occasion is celebrated to this day, but not with the same grandeur enthusiasm that was before the 90s.

339


‘Ndre Mjeda’ Museum Centre, Kukël, Vau Dejës


20 November

Anniversary of Ndre Mjeda Kukël, Bushat AU, Vau Dejes Municipality ‘Ndre Mjeda’ Museum Centre Activities in the honour of the poet Ndre Mjeda Every year on November 20th the birth of the renown poet Ndre Mjeda is commemorated. The activities are organized in Kukel village of Vau Dejes Municipality, because it was his hometown, where he lived and developed his priestly activity for about 30 years. The Kukel Parish is the initiator of the organization of these activities within The premises Ndre Mjeda Museum Centre.

341


Illustration


22-28 November

Autumn parlour Gallery of Fine Arts, Shkodra City Gallery of Fine Arts and Shkodra Municipality Annual exhibition of fine arts The visual arts exhibition titled ‘Autumn Parlour’ opens at the Art Gallery of Shkodra city during the last days of November. This exhibition is attended by artists of fine arts from Shkodra and beyond, whose works are evaluated by a special jury. The event is organized in the framework of the ‘Independence Week’.

343


Marathon of Independance, poster


24 November

Marathon of Independence Shkodra-Ulqin road, Shkodra Municipality Shkodra Municipality and Ulcinj Municipality (Montenegro) Nationwide running race Among the activities in the framework of Independence Week, the Ulqinj-Shkodra Marathon is held on November 24th. This event is attended by sports lovers and marathoners from Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Diaspora.

345


Albanian National Flag


28 November

Dita Flamurit dhe e Pavarësisë Shkodra County County, Municipality, Administrative Units, institutions and NGOs Albanian National celebration - Independence Day Albania’s Independence Day celebrations extend to every central and local institution, schools, etc. In addition to the homage to the martyrs’ cemeteries, festive concerts are organized in different city areas, schools and so on.

347


Koncert i Bandës Frymore në Teatrin Migjeni


28 November

City Wind Band Concert Migjeni Theatre, Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality and Migjeni Theatre Première concert of the City Wind Band Flag Day is also celebrated in Shkodra with a première concert of the City Wind Band. The repertoire of the concert includes the musical creations of Albanian composers, which are mainly dedicated to the homeland and the flag, but includes foreign composers as well.

349


Neighborhood in Ukbibaj village, Shllak


28 November

Saint Andrew Qerret, Vilë, Telumë, Temal AU, Ukbibaj, Shllak AU, Vau Dejes Municipality Church and Catholic community Religious celebration Saint Andrew’s Day is celebrated among family and friend in the mountainous villages of Shllak and Temal Administrative Units of Vau Dejes Municipality, such as Qerret, Vilë, Telumë, Ukbibaj etc.

351


Albanian flag


29 November

Liberation Day Shkodra County World War II veterans’ organization Homage and commemoration ceremony in honour of the Liberation of Albania On the occasion of Albania’s Liberation Day - officially on November 29th, 1944, WWII Veterans’ Organizations also pay homage to the martyrs’ cemeteries, visits to their families, and have memorial gatherings in commemorating that day.

353


The Nature Monuments in Shkodra county are of 91 in total and constitute 12.36% of the total NM in our country. This value could be comparable to the 9.96% of the Albania’s territory that the whole county occupies.


There are three of the most important protected areas within the territory of Shkodra county: Theth National Park, which is part of the Albanian Alps National Park, Ramsar Site of Shkodra Lake Managed Nature Reserve, and the Buna-Velipoja River Protected Water Landscape. Another important park is the Shkrel Regional Nature Park.



December


Rural landscape in Gjegjan, PukĂŤ


5 December

Saint Nicholas Gojan i Madh, Gojan i VogĂŤl etj, Gjegjan AU, Puka Municipality Catholic community and the church Religious celebration of the Catholic community The 6th of December coincides with the death of Saint Nicholas, who is not only known by the Catholic community, but also as Santa Claus. On this very day when the Christmas tree is set, the celebrations begin lighting the candles, attending the sermon at the church, and later on visiting families and friends who wait at tables set with the best traditional dishes of the area.

359


Entering Fushë-Arrëz


5 December

Saint Nicholas Fushë Arrëz Municipality Church and believers Religious celebration Saint Nicholas (also known as Saint Kolli in Albanian) is a religious holiday celebrated by families of Catholic religion living in some villages of Fushë Arrëz municipality. This holiday is celebrated mainly with family and friends, and the church holds the sermon. Traditionally, local foods are cooked and the candle of the feast is followed.

361


Celebrations of Saint Nicholas in the town of Vau DejĂŤs, 2018


5 December

Feast of Saint Nicholas Vau Dejës town Vau Dejes Municipality, Shën Kolli Parish Religious celebration of Catholic community Starting a family celebration, Saint Nicholas turned into a massive celebration in the main square of the town, where art concerts, fairs with local culinary products, crafts and farmers, children’s games etc. are organized throughout the day.

363


Church of Shkrel


6 December

Saint Nicholas of Winter Shkrel AU, MalĂŤsi e Madhe Municipality Catholic families Catholic family celebration As most holidays in Northern highlands, this is also dedicated to the Catholic saint Nicholas, who lived in the 4th century and died on December 6th. This holiday has a traditional family character, as each family celebrates it in its nest, rather than going out visiting friends or relatives

365


Hundreds of participants at Kaรงimak Festival in Shkrel


December

Kaçimak Festival Shkrel AU, Malësi e Madhe Municipality Church in Shkrel and VIS Albania New local festival, since 2014 Kaçimak Festival is a new local venture to promote endangered cooking traditions. During this celebration, children and attendees play many games, paint and create poems on the theme of good and clean food, dance and singing. In the end, everyone participates in the cooking of kaçimak. After cooking, the children help to distribute the food to all present to enjoy it together.

367


Protesters at the anti-communist demonstrations on December 1990


8 December

National Youth Day Migjeni Theatre, Millennium Cinema, ‘Luigj Gurakuqi’ University, Shkodra City Shkodra Municipality Activities in honour of the Students’ Movement on December, 1990 The Students’ Movement on December 1990, which initiated the overthrow of the dictatorial regime in Albania, is commemorated through youthful activities organized all over the country. Concerts, political meetings and more are also organized in Shkodra.

369


Children during this month of festival at Shkodra n’FestÍ


8-31 December

Shkodra n’FestÍ Main city square and Migjeni Theatre, Shkodra City The promenade in front of City Hall, Shkodra Festive festival on the occasion of end of the year holidays Carried by the enthusiasm of year’s end holidays, small wooden houses are put together at the city square that offer various artistic and cultural services, attractions for the citizens and tourists who choose Shkodra to spend these holidays. There are also small concerts, performances by different bands, dancers, animators, entertainment spaces for children, etc. during December.

371


The birth of Christ, a miniature scene


25 December

Christmas Shkodra County Catholic community and the church Traditional celebration dedicated to the birth of Jesus Christ The Albanians were among the first nations to embrace Christianity after receiving the word of the Lord from the mouth of Paul the Apostle. For this reason, the birth of Jesus Christ (Kshnellat) has been celebrated and continues to be celebrated for centuries by the Albanian Catholic community as a symbolism of the birth of hope and faith. The tradition of the holiday includes, as elsewhere, the holy sermon at midnight, family dinner, exchange of greetings and gifts, etc 373


‘Ndërmendje’ - ballet interpretation at the stage of Migjeni Theatre


27 December

Ndërmendje Migjeni Theatre, Shkodra City Migjeni Theatre, ‘Pjetër Gaci’ Cultural Centre, Shkodra Municipality Annual classical music concert ‘Ndërmendje” is an annual concert held at the last days of the year having a classical character, at which performances bear names of the best known authors from the country and the world. The concert is enriched with the participation of the most prominent local artists and takes place at the Migjeni Theatre.

375


Illustration


31 December

New Year’s Eve Shkodra County Families Traditional family celebration New Year’s Eve is the most uniting celebration of families and friends in Albanians, regardless of regional differences, religious beliefs or social categories. For this evening everyone travels to visit their families, to celebrate together the achievements of the previous year, as well as to exchange wishes for an even better year.

377



Veriu është festë LOCAL FESTIVALS AND EVENTS IN SHKODRA COUNTY Fushë-Arrëz, Malësi e Madhe, Puka, Shkodra, Vau Dejës

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LOCAL FESTIVALS AND EVENTS IN SHKODRA COUNTY Fushë-Arrëz, Malësi e Madhe, Pukë, Shkodra, Vau Dejës Municipalities

2020