Dita e Verës

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Dita e Verës
Observed byAlbania
DateMarch 14
FrequencyAnnual

Dita e Verës (English: Summer Day) is a traditional, pagan, Albanian holiday observed on March 14, celebrating the change from winter to spring. It has its roots in traditional Albanian, Greek and Roman religions.

History[edit]

Its date, March 14 in the Gregorian calendar, is believed to be the day when Diana would emerge from her temple every 14 years to break winter's grip.[1] The shrine of Diana of Cermenika, located in the Albanian city of Elbasan, celebrates Diana the goddess of forests, greenery and nature.[2] The distinctive sign of this holiday is baking ballokume, a sugar cookie made with Albanian corn. In Lezha, Dita e Verës fires are lit to signify the sun's purity and strength. Although the holiday continues to be highlighted in the ancient city of Elbasan, it is celebrated by all Albanians.

On March 14, the day before Dita e Verës, people take a small clump of grass with roots and soil to keep at home on the morning of March 14. This ancient custom is preserved and celebrated in Elbasan, Debar, Struga and Prespa.

Dita e Verës is celebrated on March 1 of the Julian calendar, the first day of the new year (which is March 14 in the Gregorian calendar). It is celebrated both in the Northern and Southern regions, but with regional differences.

Two interpretations support the celebration of "Dita e Verës". The first interpretation originated from Major Faik Bey Konitza as the day when non-Christian ancestors celebrated with the Romans and the Old Greeks. The second interpretation was written by Naim Frashëri.

The holiday maintains a family and traditional atmosphere, in which parents, children and families celebrate together. On this day Albanians congratulate each other on living long and happy lives.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Peace Corps Albania". www.facebook.com. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  2. ^ "Dita e Verës". Gazeta Dita. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  3. ^ Telegraf, Gazeta. "Historia e Ditës së Verës, nga Çermenika deri në Elbasan". Gazeta Telegraf. Retrieved May 4, 2018.