It has a centuries-old tradition and takes place every year in the period of the Christian festival Trimeri, during Lent . The word “carnival” originates from the Latin words: carne – meat and vale – farewell . The carnival represents a vestige of an ancient cult from the pagan time and indicates the glorification of fertility and purification from the spectral energies of the daily routine. In 1670 the Turkish travel-author Evlija Chelebija , while staying in Strumica , wrote: “ I came into a town located in the foothills of a high hillock and what I saw that night was masked people running house–to–house, with laughter, scream and song“.
Since 1991 organized form of the carnival has been established. In 1994 Strumica became a member of FECC (Federation of European Carnival Cities) and in 1998 played host to XVIII International Congress of Carnival Cities. The opening of the carnival takes place on Saturday night at a masked ball where the Prince and Princess are chosen. The children’s carnival is on Sunday and the day after is known as Pure Monday.
The main carnival night is on Tuesday when not only masked participants from the country, but carnival groups from abroad take part, as well. The participants present various, diverse subjects and are rewarded with individual and group prizes. As of 2000, the Festival of Caricatures and Aphorisms has started under the auspices of the carnival. The festival has international character and takes place during the Trimeri festivities. The theme of the festival is the carnival combined with light eroticism.
INTERNATIONAL STRUMICA FINE ARTS COLONY
The Strumica International Fine Arts Colony was first organized in 1964 on the initiative of Kocho Urdin. As of 1969, it has grown into an international event. It is held every year from August 1 – 20. The colony had the highest number of participants (34) in 1964, and the lowest (11) in 1965 and 1967. On average, anywhere from 16-25 artists from Macedonia and abroad participate in the colony. Each artist is compelled to create two works of art during the working of the colony and artists are not limited thematically.
The gallery disposes of 1870 exhibits in all techniques and around 875 artists have participated up to present time. Some of the works of art of the colony are: the monument of Goce Delchev, the sculptures “Catching the Vasilevo - Region Bay” and monument “Macedonia (Boris Trajkovski)” in the town park, the sculpture “Resistance” in front of the Sports Centre “Park”. The best works of art are presented on 11th September – the Day when Strumica was liberated from the fascism, and afterwards they are exhibited in the galleries throughout the country. The greatest achievement of the colony is the presentation in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Istanbul.
Tel.: 034 / 348 – 711 fax : 034 / 326 – 379
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FESTIVAL OF CHAMBER THEATRE “RISTO SHISHKOV”
The festival has taken place every year since 1993. The festival is in honor of the outstanding Macedonian theatrical actor, Risto Shishkov. As of 2005, it has become an international festival. The opening of the festival is on 8th September and the number of plays and duration of the festival change every year. After each play there is a round table of the actors and actresses in the play for discussion with the audience. A unique prize for high acting achievement is awarded at the end of the festival. The prize represents a golden medallion in the image of Risto Shishkov and 1500 Euro in prize – money given in equivalent value in denars. Winners of the prize Risto Shishkov so far, were the actors / actresses: Senko Velinov – 1993 , Igor Dzambazov – 1994 , Dime Iliev – 1995 , Zora Georgieva – 1996 , Perihan Ejupi Tuna – 1997 , Joana Popovska – 1998 , Vladimir Angelovski – Dadi – 1999 , Elena Moshe – 2000 , Petar Temelkovski - 2001 , Mitko S. Apostolovski – 2002 , Zvezda Angelovska – 2003 and Sonja Mihajlova – 2004, Vasil Zafirchev -2005.
Tel. and fax : 034 / 347 – 072
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ANNUAL ART EXHIBITION OF THE AAS.
The Artists’ Association Strumica has been in existence for three decades with around thirty members working in different media: painting, graphics, sculpture, ceramics, photography, posters, caricature etc. Every year the AAS organizes the annual exhibition of its members. In the last few years the exhibition was held on 11th December, as a part of the celebration of the patrons of Strumica, Sts. 15 Tiberiopolis Martyrs. The Artists’ Association has presented the artistic creations from the Strumica region in almost all the cities in Macedonia and in a few countries in Europe, as well.
Asterfest: International Film and Video Festival of Southeastern Europe
Asterfest was first held in 2005. As of 2006, it has become a festival of competitive character. In the “Asterdocs” program of the festival, three awards are given for documentary films longer than thirty minutes: a gold, a silver, and a bronze Horseshoe. Apart from these, a special award “Golden Antique Projector” is given, as well as the “Aster” award for outstanding achievement in the field of filmmaking.
The “Aster” winner for 2006 was the Macedonian director Branko Gapo. Participants in the festival are professional film makers who currently live or were born in Southeastern Europe. The festival features short and full-length films.
Tel: 071/537-649; 02/2431-052