Summer Day in Albania
Observed annually on March 14th in Albania, Summer Day is a public holiday that marks the end of winter and nature’s rebirth in spring as summer approaches. Known simply as Dita e Verës or Verëza, this day has its roots in pagan tradition and is a spring holiday that’s been observed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
This day is celebrated in both the Northern and the Southern regions of Albania, but there are cultural differences between the celebrations of these two regions. However, in both traditions, it’s usually customary to light bonfires to drive away the darkness of the winter season and to provide support for the spring sun.
The History Of Summer Day In Albania
As we stated earlier, Summer Day originated as a pagan holiday that was usually dedicated to the mythological figure of Zana. This was a pre-Roman deity of spring and vegetation and her Roman equivalent is the goddess Diana.
In Albania and Kosovo, it is said that every mountain had its own Zana and they usually appeared as fair maidens bathing naked in mountain streams. According to legend, Zana would come out of her shrine after winter hibernation on the 14th of March. This was the beginning of Summer Day.
Incredible Facts About Albania
Anyone and everyone looking for some additional facts about Albania has come to the right place. That’s because we’ve come up with a variety of facts that are designed to educate and entertain. Let’s take a quick peek at them below.
- There are approximately 3 million Albanians living in Albania as of 2022.
- There are more Albanians living outside of Albania than live in the country.
- The majority of Albanians are Muslim.
- The Republic of Albania was established in 1991 and is the fourth republic to be formed in the country.
- Almost a third of all plant species that are found in Europe can be found in Albania.
- Albania is known for producing chromium, nickel, copper, and coal.
Observing Summer Day In Albania
As we said earlier, a key tradition on this day is the lighting of bonfires to drive away winter and to strengthen the spring sun in anticipation of the coming summer. It’s also a day for people to spend time in nature and with friends and family members.
It’s common for people to enjoy a variety of foods on this day including Kulac (soda bread), Byrek with nettles, and Qumështori (a sweet milk bread). On social media, people can spread the news about this holiday using the hashtag #Vereza or #SummerDay.