Saturday, May 1, 2004
I saw something new this year for May Day. The Albanians in Hajvali and near where I live in Gracanica celebrated the coming of spring/May Day. They lit fires Friday night and were dancing, jumping, and celebrating around the fire. It was an unusual thing for me to see but I guess that the origins are quite old...coming from the pagan worshippers in Turkey prior to the rule of the Ottomans. In old times, it was the Shaman that danced and leapt through the fire while communicating with the spirits. During the ceremony, he would make predictions of the future. I also heard that it was a pagan ceremony to pray for fertility, both in crops and family.