Every 14th of March in Albania we celebrate the “Summer Day” which may be the only pagan practice that still takes place nowadays but particularly popular and saved as a tradition in my home city: Elbasan, Albania. The practice stands in a specific celebration which marks the coming of Spring Season or the Lunar Spring Day which is a practice that also happens in other different countries that still manifest their pagan beliefs. Some sources date this celebration back to Ancient Illyria which used to be celebrated in 1st of March that according to the Julian calendar, corresponded to the first day of the year. People at that time used to make pilgrimages in the highest mountains of Albania so they could be as close as possible to their Sun God. The Fire was one of the elements which was considered a living, sacred or divine element used for rituals, sacrifices and purification. The Fire was also associated with the cult of the the Sun, the Hearth, and Fertility. So, during that day in the mountains, they would make a great fire which would be crossed by men and young people to symbolize the end of Winter. They prey to their Sun God for the goodness of the new year to come. The other Gods they used to believe were the Moon Goddess, The Sky, The Earth, The Stone, The Mountain, The Water and The Snake. Besides the ritual in the mountains, they would put flower wreaths on the doors of the houses for good luck. The oldest woman of the house would remain awake at night and would go from room to room to put down grass on the cushions of couples, young people and children which would symbolizes the regeneration. On the morning of 14 March, the elderly leave the door open as a sign of generosity and a pitcher filled with fresh water and take home a clump of green grass. The youngest fertilizes the orange and olive trees, but the smaller ones are the first to make the “lucky” visits to neighbors and relatives who give them dried figs and nuts. Finally lunch on 14 March, should be eaten outdoors in the company of friends and relatives.
Most of all the pagan beliefs are mostly found on the Albanian folklore, myths, legends, rituals and tales. The elements of Albanian mythology are Paleo – Balkanic of origin and almost all of them are pagan. Unfortunately, the purity of the celebration has weakened over the centuries but is still celebrated (a bit different but still) from all Albanians nowadays thanks to the city of Elbasan. These days, the ritual begins by cooking traditional sweets like “Ballakume” and “Revani” and making handcrafted bracelet of white and red strings. We keep these bracelets on our hands until we see the first pigeon specifically called “Dallëndyshe“, at that moment we take off the bracelet and put it on a flower or a tree so the pigeon can take it and build it’s nest. We still celebrate by gathering together with the family and friends, sometimes outside for a picnic in nature.
In this special day, I thought to share some of the handcrafted jewelries made by @Smeruci which some of them I have had the chance to try on. I really love their works for to me they represent a creation inspired from their genesis, Albanian motives and art associated with semi precious stones like crystals and gemstones for a great grounding and purifying experience. It’s like a modern approach of creations based on old beliefs and tradition mixed with the imagination and creativity of two beautiful souls.
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Good news is that you can also get a discount of 10% by using the code “CIRCLEOFKURISU” on Smeruci’s Etsy account: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SmeRuci
The new Spring Collection!
Happy Summer Day to everyone!
Gëzuar Ditën e Verës!