Summer Festival, Albania
|Next time||14 March 2016|
Every year on March 14, the people of Albania celebrate Summer Day (Dita e Veres), the country's largest pagan festival. It is intended to celebrate the end of Winter, the rebirth of nature, and a rejuvenation of spirit among the Albanians. Although the epicenter of this festival is around Shkumbin region in Elbasan, the festival is widely celebrated in Tirana and as far afield as the Arbëresh colonies in Italy. In 2004, Summer Day became an official holiday in Albania.
On this day and even since March 1, many youngsters and unmarried people usually wear a traditional bracelet called Verore (a word derived from Summer) made of two thin braided strings usually red and white. At the end of the day, the bracelet is hanged on a tree branch for good luck, and is believed that birds use it to build their nests in the spring time.
In Tirana, many festivities are organized including a city marathon and are generally performed between 9 am and 9 pm. In Rinia Park, a circus show is put on the evenings and is packed with circus performers, acrobats and magicians and people celebrating the festival.
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