Gorani Muslims celebrate Orthodox St Georgeďż˝s Day | Kosovo
The south of Kosovo is the home to the ethnic Gorani. Gathering of several thousand Gorani near Vranishta village, Dragash celebrate the orthodox holiday of St Georgeďż˝s is an unusual event. Gorani are Muslim by religion, but this holiday has been celebrated since pagan times.
St Georgeďż˝s Day is marked by three days in Gorani villages with different customs and folklore festivals which celebrate the end of winter and beginning of spring.
The Gorani live in the northern slopes of Sar Mountain and the intersection of Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia.
The Gorani people are Muslims by faith , but their traditions and customs are full of pagan elements. During wedding festivities the bride is carried on a white horse covered with a scarf and an umbrella that is decorated for the occasion. The bride accompanies her family to the neighbor's house of the future husband.
There is a legend of Gora, which was created at a time when very few were literate: "When God created the world, Gora was placed in the worst place - among the hills and mountains, where winter lasts six months. That is why Gora was sad and dejected. God said to her:
- What is the matter? Why are you cheerless?
Gora, in tears, replied:
- How can I be happy when I am alone at the end of the world and as such no one will be with me.
God felt sorry for her and promised:
- Do not be sad, I will send you people. It will be sad and happy for you
The question of origin of the Gora population has been a puzzling question for decades attracting authors from the Balkans and beyond. Special interest intensified during the breakup of Yugoslavia, in fact, over the past twenty years. Many writers have written about the Gora region in their historic and political or anthropo-geographical research. Very often their positions were mainly one-sided and contentious by conclusion.
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