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The Carnival of Vevcani

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Each year, the Macedonian village of Vevcani marks the Orthodox St. Vasilij Day -- the beginning of the old Julian calendar -- with a 1,400-year-old carnival rooted in pre-Christian traditions. Performers revel in the streets wearing masks that reflect pagan rituals, religious issues, or political satires of current events. Below are some images of the costumes and parades in Vevcani over the past few years. [21 photos]

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A reveler applies a mask before parading the streets during a carnival in the village of Vevcani, some 170 km (106 miles) from the Macedonian capital of Skopje, on January 13, 2013. Vevcani village marks the Orthodox St. Vasilij Day annually with a carnival that features a 1,400-year-old celebration with pagan roots. Highlights of the carnival include a political satire where masked villagers act out current events. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski)
A reveler applies a mask before parading the streets during a carnival in the village of Vevcani, some 170 km (106 miles) from the Macedonian capital of Skopje, on January 13, 2013. Vevcani village marks the Orthodox St. Vasilij Day annually with a carnival that features a 1,400-year-old celebration with pagan roots. Highlights of the carnival include a political satire where masked villagers act out current events. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski)
Disguised men perform along a street during a carnival in southwestern Macedonia's village of Vevcani, on January 13, 2010. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski) #
A parade performer, during a carnival in the village of Vevcani, on January 14, 2013. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #
A reveler wearing his costume walks down the stairs during preparations for a carnival marking the Orthodox St. Vasilij Day at the village of Vevcani, on January 13, 2011. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #
A parade in the streets during the Vevcani carnival, on January 13, 2012. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #
A villager dressed as a witch participates in a pagan ritual in the village of Vevcani, on January 13, 2007. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #
Masked villagers parade in the Vevcani carnival, on January 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski) #
Revelers disguised as werewolves participate in a carnival procession through the village of Vevcani, on January 13, 2009. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski) #
A reveler leaps a bonfire during a carnival in the village of Vevcani, on January 14, 2013. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #
Villagers dressed as heads on dinner plates perform in the village of Vevcani, on January 14, 2006. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #
Revelers parade the streets during a carnival in the village of Vevcani, on January 14, 2013. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #
Masked men participate in a carnival procession through Vevcani, on January 13, 2010. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski) #
Revelers parade the streets during a carnival in the village of Vevcani, on January 13, 2011. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #
The streets of Vevcani, on January 13, 2012. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #
A photographer is pushed by a reveler at a parade during a carnival in Vevcani, on January 13, 2014. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #
Masked performers parade the streets in Vevcani, on January 13, 2014. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #
A street scene during a carnival in the village of Vevcani, on January 13, 2012. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #
A carnival procession through Vevcani, on January 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski) #
A masked reveler in the village of Vevcani, on January 13, 2010. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #
A masked musician, during the carnival in Vevcani, on January 13, 2011. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #
Children watch the parade pass during the Vevcani Carnival, on January 13, 2009. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #

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