Travel with GAIA to the Best Festivals In Albania and we will take care about everything.
Dita e Veres (The Summer Day)
Dita e Veres is not a festival as such but an annual celebration which is hugely important in Albanian culture. If you’re visiting the country in March (14 March), you’re in for a treat as there are huge celebrations all around the country, with families and children often spending time together. You’ll find lots of traditional food, dancing, and general merriment.
This celebration is a pagan holiday that celebrates when Diana, the Goddess of forests, greenery, and nature, comes out of her temple to break the winter season. As such, it marks the change from winter to spring and has a strong emphasis on nature. The day before Dita e Veres you’ll see people searching for a clump of grass containing soil and the roots, as they will then keep it in their home as a sign of good luck.
National Festival Of Urban Folk Songs – Every March (varies from village to village)
Folk music is quite important across this region of the world. Every March, you will find this nationwide celebration of the local folk music, which varies from village to village. Elbasan is the place to be for this particular festival, as there is a large concert of different performers from across the country and a generally fun-filled feel in the air!
Korca Beer Festival
Taking place over 4-5 days every August (in general in the middle of August), the Korca Beer Festival is a must-visit if you’re a lover of local and international beers. This is a hugely popular festival, with more than 100K people in attendance every year. The other plus point? Free entrance, an exceptional music program, and a wide range of foreign and domestic beer brands, as well as some locally produced in the Korca region.
The festival also features music from local and national bands, with food stands and a fun feel in the air.
Kruja Mountain Festival
In August, you will be able to enjoy the Kruja Mountain Festival, which certainly has a lofty perch to enjoy the scenery from! Many different religions take this pilgrimage route throughout the country, visiting the cave within the mountain where several miracles are said to have occurred.
You can head up the mountain on foot if you’re feeling energetic, or you can drive up instead. The views are unique, so make sure you have plenty of space on your camera memory card.
Gjirokastër Folk Festival
This particular festival isn’t as frequent as the others, as it takes place every four years, in September. Despite that, it is quite a big deal, with the first one happening way back in 1968.
Gjirokaster Folk Festival is full of music, dancing, performances, and art from around the Balkan region, and many international performers take to the stage. UNESCO recognizes this festival for its cultural heritage roots, and you can be sure of a massive crowd on the day.
As obscure as it may sound, the Tomato Festival is a very popular yearly event, taking place in September in Shëngjergj Village. The village is only a short distance away from the capital of Tirana, but the drive is sublime through the beautiful Priska pass.
You’ll be able to enjoy local traditions and cultural performances, as well as plentiful, delicious locally grown foods, including tomatoes! Check out the folk dancing and music, and you’ll also find lots of trinkets and handmade souvenirs to take home with you.
On 3 November every year, the Olive Festival takes place in Brar. This festival showcases many different locally-produced foods from all around the country, but mostly anything to do with olives! You’ll also get to enjoy a tour of the olive groves around the area, some of which date back thousands of years.
This is a fun festival which allows you to try lots of local produce and, of course, purchase some to take back home with you. Locally produced olive oil from here is divine!