Thursday, February 19, 2015

Valentines Day Dance Party

          With the past weekend being St. Valentine's Day I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's a day not for over-commercialized love but for family.  Within the Christian and Orthodox Churches another saint is celebrated on February 14th and that's St. Trifun.  He's the guardian, or patron, of wine, wine-makers and vineyards.   I know that on St. Trifun's Day elsewhere in Macedonia and throughout the Balkans people go to the vineyards to trim the vines while the priests bless them.  My family has a vineyard but that's not what we did.  
          Instead, we hung out at the house and prepared to leave for a large dinner.  I watched some rugby Six Nations, well done England, and taught Goce the rules of the game.  This being Macedonia we didn't get ready and head out the door until 8:30.  We drove out of town to a large hotel where the dinner was being held.  I knew that it'd be a late night but I wasn't expecting 300 people to be there.  Now, most of them were not from my village so I didn't know who they were.  They, however, knew exactly who I was.  Walking in behind Goce and Daniella I felt every eyeball on me.  
            Once we were at our table I felt much more comfortable chatting with the extended family.  We joked around a bit, enjoyed our starters and then the music started.  Now, I'm not talking about "Shout" or "Uptown Funk" but the traditional music that makes every Macedonian get their groove on and dance the horo, or oro.  I waited a couple minutes and then decided to take the bull by the horns and dance with the group instead of sitting on the sidelines.  I ended up dancing for hours.  It was a lot of fun and you can watch it here.  

Age is no excuse so everyone joined in.
The dance floor was quickly filled.

          After dancing everyone settled back down and enjoyed the main course.  It turned out that the pig we killed the previous week was used as the main meal for this dinner.  Yup, so that animal isn't just feeding my family and I for a year it also fed 300 people for a night.  I was very impressed by Goce and Daniella since neither of them mentioned that they would be giving the meat away.  Next, was a fun raffle that had Petar winning a set of binoculars!  (They're really quality set too).  I missed winning $20 by one number. 

           Afterwards, a belly dancer came out and entertained everyone, aka the men, for a bit.  I was pretty amused by how all the women just ignored her.  Of course I got a picture. 

She was covered up but the ladies weren't impressed. Goce laughed when she appeared and then hung out with his buddies on the other side of the room. 
This is a small boar that was killed on the last official hunting weekend.  It was brought in to celebrate the end of hunting season and to bring luck for the next one.  The cycles of agriculture and hunting are threaded together here and greatly respected.
The last dance was started by the men and I jumped in after this picture.  At first they were surprised but got over their surprise once I showed I knew the rhythm and steps. 

A polaroid was taken when we walked in.
          All in all, it was a great night.  Because of all the slava's, parties and dinners I went to over the holiday's I wasn't overwhelmed by the dinner.  It was a fun, late, night but it was worth it since I danced for most of it.  


  1. Enjoyed catching up on your activities and teaching!

    1. Thanks Megan, hope you're surviving the IceApocalypse!