Galicnik Wedding Festival or Galicka svadba is an event that takes place every year in July (precisely, around the St Peter’s holiday) in the village of Galicnik, on Bistra Mountain in North Macedonia. The event celebrating tradition and the rich cultural heritage of the village Galicnik had its 48th edition this past July. During the event which lasts for a few days, the selected couple from the village gets married in a traditional wedding style that is followed by folk songs, dances, and unique customs.
While throughout the year, the village Galicnik is home to only a few residents, during the days of the Wedding Festival, thousands of domestic, as well as international visitors come to the village to attend this special event. For those who are unable to attend those festivities, the entire ceremony is being broadcasted live via the Internet and widely shared over different social media channels.
The event which largely helps preserve Macedonian culture features many of the unique wedding customs. These include the Galicnik costume that is considered famous all-over North Macedonia. It features an incredible number of beautiful details and it usually refers to a female costume where white, gold, and red color prevail. Such costume is being worn by many of the female dancers at the Galicnik Wedding Festival and it is considered that such a costume has been worn by generations of females living in Bistra Mountain.
In addition to the unique wedding costume worn by the event participants, the event features many unique wedding customs such as the beating of drums, Mother-in-law folk dance (Svekrvino oro), carrying the bride to the water, invitation of the dead, shaving the groom or taking the bride from her family. Overall, the event features so many different customs, traditional songs, dances, and beautiful costumes that are the signature of the Galicnik village for centuries.
Also, nothing speaks more about the importance of this event for North Macedonia and its long-lasting wedding traditions, than the fact that the organization of this event itself is annually funded by the President’s Office, as well as by the Ministry of Culture. In addition to these government financiers, there are also some private ones, such as the Skopje brewery which has been supporting the event from its beginning, which has been for fifty years ago.
While many of those financiers already suggested that they will continue supporting financially this event in the years to come, there are also some firm indicators suggesting that the interest of young couples in taking part in the event is increasing every year. According to some of the main individuals involved in the preparation of this event, the number of couples interested in participating in this event was the highest this year. This might be particularly important considering that the event itself celebrates family values that seem to be not very popular among young generations across North Macedonia. Every year, the special committee chooses a couple that will get married during the Galicnik Wedding Festival and the main prerequisite is that at least one of the two young people who expressed a desire to get married comes from Galicnik.
The Galicnik Wedding Festival is a unique event that celebrates Macedonian rich wedding tradition, and it involves a plethora of different customs that had been a part of the culture of the village of Galicnik for a long time. Considering that the event receives a lot of interest annually from many visitors, one can expect that this will continue in the future and that such an important event for the Macedonian culture will thrive.