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Celebrating religious holidays in Besiste – in the olden days


Back in the days when I was growing up people in the village of Besiste celebrated many holidays throughout the year. Each holiday had some special meaning as to why the celebration took place. For me the religious holidays were more interesting because the villagers believed in and kept celebrating the various traditions that you can only find in the region of Mariovo. Today, I still have some distant memories of these traditions but not to tell the entire story. During my recent visits to Besiste I sat down with my good friend Zdravka (above) and her mom or my Baba Cona and we documented the details for my book.


We will now look a little bit at the ways in which these days/holidays were observed in the olden days by the people of the village Besiste, Mariovo. These holy days occur every year on the same date; they do not change.

2nd of January is Saint Ignati (or "Igna" to the people of Mariovo). On this day, the day starts getting longer. On this day early in the morning children jump up and down so they may grow taller and also they may be lucky.


5th of January is Saint Naum of Ohrid. This holiday within our Macedonian culture is the day of a much cherished saint who lived over 1000 years ago in the Macedonian holy city of Ohrid. He is associated with the monastery christened in his name. As a saint, he is credited with doing many good deeds, and also performing some fantastic acts.


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Art by: Igor Janev, Skopje

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Last Update: October 15, 2017