Noël

How do Albanians Celebrate?

I think we all agree on the fact that December goes by so fast and suddenly we find ourselves preparing for Christmas and New Year. I have a love-hate relationship with December, to be honest. I love it because it seems that is a time that brings people together and suddenly everyone is reflecting on the year that they are about to leave behind. On the other hand, this month is associated with a lot of expenses mainly for gifts about the loved ones and because Albanian mothers have this terrible urge of transforming the house into a supermarket, where you can find all kinds of groceries, drinks, desserts etc. Most probably, you wont even eat half of it, but it doesn’t mind…That’s how Albanians celebrate!

As we all know, during the communist regime, Enver Hoxha banned the freedom of religion and Albania became the first atheist country of the world. What a great start, right?

However, after the fall of communism, Albanians got to experience too the joy of celebrating and practicing their own religion. The majority of people in Albania are Muslims but you must’ve heard that here that it doesn’t matter because we all respect each other’s religion and we celebrate Eid in the same way we celebrate Christmas, all together.

In most Albanian families, there is a specific time to do the Christmas tree and that is on December 5th but those who feel in themselves the Christmas Spirit more than others usually do it on December 1st. And all suddenly, everyone is asking you “ What are you buying me for Christmas/New Year?”. That is a question I am trying to avoid this year.

The holidays energy and spirit is being felt everywhere, especially in Tirane since is the capital of Albania. Skanderbeg square doesn’t look that empty anymore; every year the square serves as a Christmas market, where small wooden houses offer a cozy place to stay, relax and drink hot wine or beer with your friends or family. You can spot all around the little children who seem to enjoy these days more than everyone and you can see them laughing out loud, begging their mothers and fathers for money to take a ride in the playground. Everything is shining and it feels good.

Albania Winter holidays celebration

On Christmas Day, every family makes sure that the table is full because a lot of people will be coming, even the people that my mother says will show up but never do, so there’s extra for anyone who wants to join.

Turkey and delicious desserts are the main dishes on Christmas day and on New Year’s Eve. A specialty of the Albanian Christmas/New Year’s dinner is "Bakllava", the famous dessert originally from Turkey.

And without even noticing, Christmas is over and then there comes the New Year. And if Christmas is all about family, New Year on the other hand is for family until 12: 00 PM, and then is for friends and partying until morning. If you are fortunate enough, you will have two days off to rest and come back to the “normal state of being”, if not straight to work. Fair enough!

©Elda Ndoja, Ecotour Albania

Albania guest of honor in Christmas market of Brussels

The Christmas market in Brussels in December 2017 will have an extra jewel to decorate it’s Christmas tree, Albania.

Brussels’ square will be animated by all what is the best from Albania. In order to know this beautiful country, we invite you to visit the stands dedicated to Albania.

The agents of the tour operator Ecotour Albania will tell you more about the holidays, tours, itineraries, cultural tours and adventure offered by Albania. The trips organized by Ecotour Albania respects the charters of responsible and sustainable tourism. 

Direct contact with locals, authentic places, beautiful mountain and seaside landscapes are part of the menu of Ecoutor Albania.

White wine, red or sparkling; beer, olive oil, typical dishes, crafts, but also traditional dance shows: this is what the city of Tirana and Albania will be offering you during the “Winter’s pleasures” which will be held from the end of the month in the city center. The Albanian capital will be the guest of honor of this 17th edition. 

All of the above will be installed on the St. Catherine Square in front of the church. 

Mire se vini ne Shqiperi

Welcome to Albania.

 

Visit of Apollonia

Visite d'Apollonia

Climbing in Bovilla

Escalade à Bovilla

Visit of Butrint, UNESCO

Visite de Butrint, UNESCO

Hiking in Albanian Alps

Ranndonnée dans les Alpes Albanaises

Holidays in Albania

Vacances en Albanie

Berat, Unesco

Berat, Unesco

Travel to Albania, off the beaten track

Voyage en Albanie, hors des sentiers battus

Ski and snowshoeing in the Albanian Alps

Ski et raquettes dans les Alpes Albanaises