The Republic of Montenegro is a beautiful country that is very popular with tourists from all over the world. Today it is a sovereign, rapidly expanding state. The country gained independence relatively recently, only in 2006. Up to this point, Montenegro was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (by the way, Montenegro left the federal republic of the latter). Today the capital is the beautiful city of Podgorica, formerly called Titograd. The city boasts beautiful architecture, many historical sites and beautiful nature.
The population is 622,781 people (as of 2016). Most of the population is Montenegrins, who make up 44%, then the most numerous group are Serbs, they occupy 31% in the general structure of the population, 11% are Bosnians (5% of them call themselves Muslims), and about 6% live in the country Albanians, about 1% are Croats and other nationalities. And about 4% of the total population during the last census refused to name their nationality. If we talk about religion, the majority of the population is Orthodox, namely 74%. About 20% of the population are Muslim, 3% are Catholicism, and the rest are other religions or are atheists.
The state language is the Serbian non-Kavkaz dialect. Most of the population considers Serbian to be their native language, only 6% consider Bosniyak as their mother tongue and for 5% of the population Albanian is their mother tongue. The national currency is the euro.
Montenegro has a rich history, it was first mentioned in the XIII century, when it was the territory of the Serbian state and was called Dukla, and then Zet. From the middle of the XIV century, Montenegro gained independence and began to fight with Turkey and Venice for the preservation of acquired freedom. Since the end of the XV century, Montenegro was part of the great and powerful Ottoman Empire. At the end of the seventeenth century, a liberation movement began in the country, which was supported by the Pope of Rome, the Republic of Venice, Poland and Austria. In the XVIII century, Montenegro was actively supported by the Russian Empire, which allowed it to gain autonomy. And in 1878, the country became completely independent. Then, on August 28, 1910, the most important event in state history occurred - Montenegro acquired the status of a kingdom. From the history of the country it becomes clear that the culture of the population, its traditions and customs, was greatly influenced by the countries that conquered Montenegro.
Today, Montenegro is predominantly a tourist country, most of the state revenue comes from tourism. There is an opinion that the Adriatic coast from Montenegro is the cleanest and most picturesque. In 1992, the country acquired the status of an ecological state.
Holidays in the country are divided into state and church, they have official status. Consider the main ones, how they are marked, how they appeared. We will get acquainted with the holidays in chronological order.
New Year is the most expected holiday in many countries of the world and Montenegro is not an exception. Here it is celebrated on January 1st. The celebration of the Montenegrin beginning of the year is not much different from the celebration in other countries. Lush feasts and loud parties are held here. In December, the cities are transformed, they are beautifully decorated, which creates an atmosphere of magic.
January 2 is the Day of St. Ignatius the God-bearer, it is an unofficial holiday, people also call it Christmas chicken. According to custom, the mistress of the house should get up before anyone else and feed pets, especially chickens. The first stranger who goes into the house is labeled "chicken anointed." To do this, it is seated on a soft pillow. This is a symbolic act that suggests that the guest will “carry the eggs.”
After that, another test awaits the guest - he needs to break the pumpkin and make it so that the seeds spread as far as possible. The more seeds shatter - the more chickens will be. After these symbolic actions, the guest is treated to raki (the traditional alcoholic drink of the Balkans) and given to try snacks. During meals, the guest sits quietly and quietly. This is necessary so that throughout the whole year chickens diligently carry their eggs and are calm. It is believed that if precipitation occurs on January 2, the whole year will be marked by fertility.
On January 5, Tuqindan is celebrated, which in translation means Fat Day or Day of Clouds. This is an Orthodox holiday, but it has much in common with paganism. The holiday has been going on since the times of Saint Sava, who was the first archbishop of Serbia. The merit of Sava lies in the fact that he collected and preserved Serbian folk customs in order to help attract more people to Orthodoxy later. It is believed that Tuqindan should not punish or scold children, even if they are guilty of something. If you punish a child, then the whole year he will behave badly. In Tucindan, it is customary to set a rich table, where the main treat is a baked ram or young pig, in some regions they are replaced with baked goose or turkey.
Christmas is celebrated on January 7, as in all Orthodox countries. For Montenegrins, Christmas is the holidays of children and parents. The holiday is held around the family hearth, because it is him who must be preserved and cared for by all family members. Families wake up very early and wash with icy water (it is best to prepare water in advance, take it out from under the ice). After washing the rite is performed: every man who lives in the house must go outside and take two badnik twigs (this is a log that is prepared in advance and then burned on Christmas Eve). Badnik twigs are presented to the hostess of the house with wishes of wealth, prosperity, fertility, joy, love, and so on. If the city did not burn logs and there is no badnyak, you can buy a small bouquet of oak branches.
A mandatory element of the celebration of the Nativity of Christ is a visit to the temples, the presence at the festive services. Churches also hold various ceremonies in which parishioners can participate.
The holiday ends in a family circle, behind a magnificent feast. On this day, the mistress must bake pahachi. This is a traditional homemade unleavened cake. The dough for treats is mixed in the morning, a coin made of silver or gold is put inside. After cooking, the pouch is put on the table and waits in the wings until the evening, when the owner of the house breaks it. Each guest takes a piece, and if you hit a coin, you will be the happiest throughout the year.
old New Year
A week at the end of December and 2 weeks of January are full of holidays in Montenegro. This decade ends with the Old New Year, which comes on the night of the 13th to the 14th of January. Earlier, the Julian calendar was used by the Russian Orthodox Church, Jerusalem, Serbian and Georgian. In all these countries, the Old New Year is celebrated. It is worth noting the fact that Switzerland also celebrates this holiday. Serbs believe that this is exclusively their national holiday and call it Christmas Minor.
Easter is celebrated on April 8, it is an official holiday when citizens rest. Service in honor of the great Easter in monasteries and temples begins early in the morning, at three or four o'clock. Parish churches begin to serve a little later, at 5-6 in the morning. The celebration of Easter is not limited to one day, it lasts for 2-3 days. The customs are similar to the Russians: when they meet, the Montenegrins say “Christ is resurrected”, to which you must answer “Truly Risen.”
Since ancient times, with great trepidation belonged to the meal. Obligatory Easter attribute is eggs, and also prosphora (liturgical liturgical bread). Also, no table can do without red wine, freshly baked bread and sprinkles. After the feast, it is customary to be given fun and to arrange all kinds of fun with chants and dances. It is customary to drive a kolo - this is a big round dance, which is usually arranged to the accompaniment of an amateur orchestra. Such a feast is called narodni sabor or varos, but in Bosnia the same tradition is called taferich.
Sunday, which comes after Easter, is referred to as the youngest, it symbolizes the beginning of St. Thomas, which is dedicated to the Apostle Thomas. On the first day of St. Thomas's week you need to visit the cemetery, as a rule, women do it. To visit the cemetery it was necessary to paint the eggs. At the cemetery you need to bring as many eggs as you remember the dead relatives. The egg that was decorated first was treated with great honor, because it is the guard of the house. The first decorated egg remains in the house, it is placed on a special dish - goddess. It is the first egg that protects the house from such unpleasant weather phenomena as lightning, hurricanes, hail, thunder, and so on. If Easter has coincided with family mourning, the eggs are painted black or not painted.
May 1 in Montenegro, as in Russia, is the day of workers. In Montenegro, this day is more connected with the events in America, when on May 1, 1886, more than 40,000 workers in Chicago organized a labor movement and demanded that the working day be reduced to eight hours. After riots and demonstrations took place in Chicago, Yugoslavia began to celebrate this holiday in honor of all the working people. The first to celebrate May Day were in Croatia and Slovenia, and then the holiday reached Serbia, where it became official since 1893. Montenegrins began to officially celebrate the holiday only in 1918. Today, residents of the country prefer to make Mayday and picnics, to leave the city. Such maevki is called "children's" because they are accompanied by children's laughter, fun.
St. Mark's Day
May 8 is another significant church holiday in Montenegro - the day of St. Mark. Saint Mark was an evangelist and apostle, his teacher was Saint Peter himself. As a rule, May storms and winds rage that day. It is believed that those who work on May 8 will be punished in this way by St. Mark: hail, rain and wind will destroy all crops.
St. Basil's Day of Ostrog
May 12 in Montenegro, the day of St. Basil of Ostrog is widely celebrated. Vasily Ostorozhsky is one of the most revered priests of the Orthodox Church. The relics of the holy rest in the famous monastery of Ostrog. Ostrog - this is truly an amazing place, carved into the rock. Vasily Ostorozhsky himself is recognized as the patron saint of the Montenegrin Republic, every day a huge queue of people willing to get to the relics is gathered around Ostrog. It is believed that if you get to the relics - the saint will surely bless you and help in your endeavors. During his lifetime, Vasily Ostorozhsky suffered a lot of pain, his whole life was insulted and condemned. However, the saint did not once blame the fate for this, bravely endured all the hardships and every day his faith grew stronger. By his example, he showed people that in any situation you need to enjoy life and thank her for what you have.
Day of the Prophet Jeremiah
On May 14, Montenegrin beauties gather at the home door and begin to sing the christian songs in honor of the holy prophet. Instead of girls, young men can sing chants, they also shout the following: “Jeremiah in the field, run, snakes, in the sea!”.
As described above, the Montenegrin Republic has long fought for its independence, so Independence Day is particularly significant for its citizens. Today Montenegro belongs to the states with the youngest history, despite the fact that in the XVIII century the country gained independence for some time. At the end of the First World State became an integral part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and after the Second World War - became part of Yugoslavia. In 2003, Yugoslavia transformed into the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. Participation in this union was unprofitable and in 2006 the decision to hold a national referendum was announced. The purpose of this event was a national discussion of independence: whether to separate and declare independence.
Montenegro's Independence Day. All citizens of the country could participate in the referendum; more than 86% of the population exercised their right. Of these citizens, the majority, namely, 55% were in favor of recognizing independence. Under current law, union members became independent. After that, the country gained recognition in the international arena. On June 3, 2006, the Parliament declared the country independent, with which the next national holiday is connected.
Today, May 21, mass celebrations are held throughout the country, numerous events are organized.
On June 3, the whole world learned about the independence of the picturesque country on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. This holiday, like the Independence Day, is accompanied by festivities and is celebrated on a large scale. After the declaration of independence and recognition of this fact in the international arena, the Constitution of a free sovereign country was adopted, which states that the Montenegrin Republic is a civil state, democratic and independent, sovereign. On June 28, Montenegro became part of the UN and became its 192nd country.
July 13 is the Day of Statehood. The origins come back in 1878, when the Berlin Congress decided to recognize the country as the twenty-seventh independent state. At the legislative level, the holiday was recognized and decorated only in 2004, but before that the population had been celebrating it annually with merry festivities.
Day of the announcement of the country kingdom.
From the XVI century to the XIX century, Montenegro was the sovereign state, the management here was entrusted to spiritual leaders. The first ruler, who refused from spiritual dignity, was Danilo the First. He was remembered for the first time he became a secular ruler. In 1860, power passed from him to Nicholas the First, who received the status of a prince, and later declared himself Montenegrin king.
In 1910, Nicholas I, wishing to consolidate his own power, declared the country to be royal, and himself her king. After another 4 years, Nicholas I took over the powers of the monarch. When World War I was over, in 1917 its participants signed the Kof Declaration. According to the provisions of this declaration, the Yugoslav lands, Serbia and Montenegro united in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.
Today, August 28 is not a public holiday, but celebrates throughout the country on a large scale.
In addition to official holidays, state and church, in Montenegro, thematic festivals dedicated to various directions are celebrated on a wide scale in Montenegro. It seems that the holidays here last a whole year!
The calendar year begins with the fun of “Racing in the Snow”. All vacationers in the city of Zabljak can take part in it. Faithful companions of the celebration - cheerful music, delicious drinks and snacks. Also in the winter season, there is a Golden Snowflake festival of children’s songs, a Hot Winter celebration, and a skiing championship.
The population of the country loves a variety of flowers. The end of winter is marked by the Mimosa Festival. First, a flower fair is held in parallel with the wine festival. Here everyone can please themselves with a vending bunch and discover new shades of a noble alcoholic drink. The event ends with a majestic procession initiated by a musical orchestra. Mandatory part of the holiday - theatrical preceding. The traditional treat of the Mimosa Festival is fish cooked on charcoal. After the holiday mimosa in the first month of spring, the “Camellia Days” take place. This is a whole decade of vivid and memorable celebrations: a contest among the beauties “Miss Camellia”, a ball in honor of this beautiful flower, various exhibitions. And in the summer there are "Days of mountain flowers".
Special attention should be paid to theater and film festivals. For example, at the end of winter a masquerade ball starts in Kotor. April was marked by the festival of the theater “Haps”, as well as the masquerade “Spring night”, which takes place in Budva. In May, TV people from all over the world are attracted by the International Television Festival, in which the best television programs from all over the world are shown to viewers on a huge screen. In May, the Montenegrins are having fun at a carnival with the beautiful name “The Beauty of the Mediterranean”. On this day, the whole city is transformed, hundreds of participants from Montenegro, Macedonia, the Czech Republic and other countries, including Russia, make a carnival procession.
April and May are associated with the Kinotavrik International Children's Art Festival. As part of this event, a platform is being organized for communication, consolidation and further cooperation for children aged 5-17 years. Every year, representatives of various countries, ethnic groups and denominations take part in the Kinotavrik. Children demonstrate their talents in various fields: dancing, vocals, cinema, playing musical instruments and so on.
And all summer, from the beginning of June until the end of August, representatives of art from all over the world come to Kotor. All of them want to become participants of the international famous festival “Kotor Art”. Here, the actors of various stage genres are happy to present their creations. In another city, Budva, the Star Bridge festival is taking place at this time. Both adults and children can take part in it, as long as they are over 7 years old and under 30 years old. Participants compete for the title of the best in several categories: fashion, dance, theater, playing musical instruments, dance, and so on. Star Bridge has an epic conclusion. The festival's finale is a gala concert, which all residents and visitors of the city can see when visiting the main city square.
With particular trepidation and love in Montenegro relate to events that have a gastronomic theme. For example, during the grape harvest, specific cities dedicated to wine are held in all cities. In neighboring Serbia, the famous “In Vino” takes place at this time, in which more than 100 wine houses annually participate. "In Vino" attracts a solid audience of visitors, more than five thousand people. At the festivals dedicated to wine, you can meet both professional producers of this drink, and ordinary connoisseurs who want to enjoy the taste, take part in the celebration.
The nature and conditions of Montenegro are very diverse. Doing sports here is a pleasure, literally all the conditions have been created for this. For this reason, Montenegrins often organize sports competitions and events dedicated to a healthy lifestyle. For example, in April, the cycling competition “On the roads of Tsar Nicholas” takes place (the action takes place in Montenegro itself, as well as in Italy). May attracts the attention of the Montenegrin Mountaineering Cup. Equestrian games are also very popular, most often they are held in the city of Lubichevo. And in the very middle of summer, July 22, they will organize a traditional swim in boats. It is held in a picturesque place: the waters around the island "Lady Rock".
If we talk about sports festivals, popular with Montenegrins, it is necessary to note the “Trophy of the Mediterranean Sea”. This is a competition of anglers, in which fishermen gather to prove which of them is the best of the best. There is also a swimming competition in the summer. Its participants face a difficult task: it is necessary to swim the distance from the city of Sutomore to the city of Bar (the total length of the distance is more than five kilometers). And in the fall there comes the time of mountaineering - there is a competition of fans of mountaineering and rafting.
As you can see, in Montenegro, both state and church holidays are celebrated today. The population remembers its history, important dates and events, while confidently looking ahead and building a modern state.