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The village of Vevchani, Struga

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The region of the municipality is located on the north-west of the lake. It extends in the direction east-west, from the foothill, over the hill ground, up to the top ridge of mount Jablanica. The beginning of the village dates from the 6th century, when the Slav tribe Bereziti (Brsjaci) overflows the Struga region and populates the area of the present-day village, south-east from the mountain. The name is derived from the Slav word ves which means village, and for the people who live there selchani, veschani (villagers).

All that is known about the settlement of the first families here is known from legends and tradition. Thus, the first settlers were the brothers Kalan and Alul. Even though, they inherited a location, the brother Alul inhabited the upper part of the village and created the family line Alul. The second brother inhabited the lower part of the village and created the family line Kalan.

The Vevchani Carneval, which is approximately 1400 years old, is an interesting connection between the pagan and the modern. It is held on the 13 and 14 of January, one day before New Year’s Eve, according to the Julian calendar. The main characteristics of the carnival are the archaism, the mystery and improvisation. It is different from the world carnivals by its specific characteristics. The place of the carnival happening is the whole village, which transforms into a boundless theatre in which every house and every street is the stage on which the masked people play their roles like true actors. There are three traditional masks – The Bride and Groom, the Musicians and Stupid August (Glupi Avgust). The rest of the carnival masks are smaller or bigger carneval groups, which with their costumes, gestures and movements ridicule and brand the occurrences or the people from public life. Especially characteristic is the mask of Glupi Avgust. This mask is worn by young energetic people who communicate with the crowds with unusual movements and gestures, but also with a characteristic scream. During the Carneval, the masked have all the freedom and ecstasy of turning the world upside-down, a freedom in which the creativity of spirit comes to point, the sense of improvisation, the criticism and the irony. Officially, women are not included in the festival. However, they put masks on, but do not take them off until the end of the Carnival.

In the proximity of Vevchani, one of the most famous and most visited springs in Macedonia are positioned – the Vevchani Springs. Their beauty is a magnet which draws back all tourists who have visited the springs once, to drink from the clear water, to breathe the fresh air and to find themselves in the noise of the cold water. The Vevchani springs are one of the rare Pseudo – period siphon springs in Macedonia. They are located on the eastern slopes of the mount Jakupica, by the village Vevchani, at the altitude of 900m.

As a sign of appreciation towards the many generations of migrant workers, who were the providers of a living existence, development and advancement, a monument for the migrant worker was erected, probably the only one of this kind.

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