The Carnival in Strumica (Струмички Карневал) is among the most famous events held annually in Republic of Macedonia.
The date of the carnival varies in connection with the orthodox holiday “Forgiveness” (Procka, Прочка) which is seven weeks before Easter.
The Carnival is held every year in “Trimeri days” at the beginning of Easter fast, and it is followed by masking, which aims to exorcise the evil and to increase the desire for happiness and fertility.
Among the traditional masking characters are the bride and groom, the priest, Devil, figures from everyday life, from politics etc.
The Carnival ends on Wednesday, when the people from Strumica go into the homes of engaged girls, where they donate to them expensive gifts.
There they sing erotic songs and tell stories with erotic content as a reference to the young married life.
Strumica Carnival has a centuries-old tradition and first written sources are from the Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi.
Until this day, the carnival was held every year, and in the early 70’s effort was made for its organized celebration, but after several years of successful organization, organized form has been discontinued, but regardless of that it continued to take place spontaneously.
The Carnival in Strumica is becoming more and more popular and the number of participants each year is increasing. This event has many side events, exhibitions of children’s masks, drawings and cartoons, selection of the best masks, stage performances, etc.
In 1994 Strumica became a member of the International Association of Carnival Cities FECC, and in 1998 hosted the 18th International Congress of Carnival Cities. As a result of cooperation with the Association established cooperation and exchange groups in many countries.