National Festival of Folklore

Folklore, National Festival of

Every four years in autumn
Albania celebrates its cultural heritage with the National Festival of Folklore, which takes place in the southern city of Gjirokastra. Since 1968, the festival has drawn local artists and performers; Albanian troupes from neighboring countries like Kosovo, Montenegro, and Macedonia; and performers from more distant countries like Italy, Turkey, and the United States. It is an occasion to present traditional music, folk art, clothing, and locally made jewelry. The event, which takes place every four years, draws tourists as well as local Albanians.
Gjirokastra, which historians believe was founded as early as the fourth century, has a rich history that is appropriate to the festival's traditional feel. The open square of Gjirokastra Castle, which dates back to the sixth century c.e., is the main performance site. There, dance troupes face off in competitions and singers often perform ballads to the accompaniment of the çifteli, a two-string long-necked mandolin. Crafts people also entice shoppers with their copper jewelry and other wares.
CONTACTS:
Albanian Institute of Tourism and Environmental Developments
Rr., Sulejman Delvina
Zayed Center
Tirania, Albania
www.tourismalbania.com
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