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Albanian Traditions: 17 Cool Facts You’ve Never Heard Before

Albanian families take pride in their traditions, which may be related to their cuisine, literature, clothes, and way of life. Want to dive deeper into this topic? If the answer is yes, then you’re in luck! You can find detailed information about it in today’s latest post! Let’s get started!

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Best Albanian Traditions

Albanians are a Southern European subgroup of the original Balkan people, and Shqiptare is how they identify themselves. Primarily based in Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia, but also in Montenegro and Greece, Albanians reside in densely populated regions of one ethnic group. They are known for being compassionate and having a very kind demeanor. Let’s get to learn more about them below!

Kanun Guiding Their Lifestyles

The four pillars of the Kanun—honor, hospitality, proper conduct, and kin loyalty—serve as a roadmap for daily living. The Kanun also includes an ethical code known as Besa, which requires every Albanian to be able to maintain their pledge and fulfill their life’s commitments. This behavioral code assures that a contract between two respectable persons is carried out to its fullest extent. Regardless of their religious beliefs, the Kanun exhorts people to provide for and console those in need.

Keeping The Mythology Alive

Legends and epic stories are still extremely vivid in parts of Albania. They are passed down from one generation to the next and are memorized. The conflict between evil and good is the main topic of these myths and legends.

Tomato Festival

Despite how obscure it may seem, the Tomato Festival in Shngjergj Village is a top-rated annual event in September. The town is just a short drive from Tirana, the country’s capital, but the trip is magnificent because of the stunning Priska pass. Plenty of tasty, locally-produced food will be available during the festival- including tomatoes, regional customs, and cultural events. Take in some folk dance and music while shopping for handcrafted gifts and souvenirs to bring back with you.

Dita e Veres

Dita e Veres is a festival that marks the time when Diana, the deity of woods, vegetation, and nature, emerges from her temple to end the winter. It signifies the transition from season to season and places a significant focus on nature. Basically, people will look for clumps of grass with soil and roots the day before Dita e Veres because they want to store them in their homes as a charm of good fortune.

Ethnic Culture

Albanians have a distinct and varied culture. The Ghegs and Tosks are two cultural subgroups found in Albanian territory. Ghegs reside in the northern region, whereas Tosks are located in the southern part. Despite significant distinctions, the two cultural groups maintain a strong sense of national identity and ethnic heritage.

Elbasan dialect In the Albanian Language

The Elbasan Gospel Manuscript is also known as the Anonimi I Elbasanit (“the Anonymous of Elbasan”). Although it was established in St. Jovan Vladimir’s Church in central Albania, the record is still kept at Tirana’s National Archives.

The sole document written in it is an alphabetic script from the middle of the eighteenth century. Radical national linguists advocate for reintroducing the once-preferred Elbasan dialect, while others advocate for blending the current standard, earlier linguistics, and other local dialects. The most well-liked reform effort is merging and showcasing Albanian speech’s logical progression.

Some Cool Facts About Albanian Culture

Albanian Traditions

1# Shake Or Nod?

Let’s talk about a weird fact which creates misunderstanding between Albanians and the western world.

When speaking with an Albanian, you may realize that they make head nods in the opposing direction from how we in western societies do when we seem to disagree with you. Shake your head from side to side to indicate yes, and up and down to point no.

2# Pouring Raki In The Same Glass

Don’t expect your raki to come in another glass everrrr.

If you order a second raki at a café, you could observe that the bartender will pour the raki into the glass you are currently holding rather than bringing you a new one. Apparently, receiving a new glass denotes receiving a new companion.

3# me këput’ hesap

You might not get married until your dowry is complete. 

There would come a time when the groom’s family would travel to the bride’s family to cut the deal (me këput’ hesap) and take the thread (marr penin) after the completion of dowry preparations and ongoing talks between the two families that may sometimes extend for many years.

4# The Mighty Xhiro

This cultural fact will keep you from feeling lonely, instead might open a hub of opportunities for you. 

Xhiro is the name of a custom in Albania. Albanians often leave their houses in the early evening to stroll along the main street where they reside. This is an excellent opportunity to catch up with everyone. Aside from individuals starting little BBQs by the side of the road, farmers sometimes come to sell their products.

5# Mountains Everywhere

Beware, you might get lost in the unending mountains of the Albanian Alps.

The majority of the nation is mountainous. You may go on the most incredible climbs and hiking routes in the north.

#6 Nothing But Mercedes

If Mercedes is your favorite car, this cultural fact will compel you to get a ticket to Albania asap.

Many now consider owning a Mercedes to be a necessity. Most of them are from Germany and are viewed to be very dependable automobiles for the challenging roads of Albania. This is how the whole nation is now filled with Mercedes Benzes!

7# Expectations As A Guest?

Don’t stop yourself from having higher expectations while going to an Albanian house.

Expect goodies like sweets, cakes, drinks, munchies, and Turkish coffee, even if you just plan to stay for coffee. If an Albanian extends an invitation to visit their home—which is always probable for any guest will find the red carpet brought out for you as a mark of respect. 

8# Shops are closed in the middle of the day

Albanian Traditions

Albanian culture adores good health, so they love to take a chill pill in stressful times.

Cities like Saranda are more affected by the heat than Tirana. Albanians will unwind and take a break at this time to rest or do nothing at all. Most businesses shut their doors for a type of rest during the warmest portion of the day, from 2 pm until 5 or 6 pm.

9# Albanians Living Abroad

This country has more citizens living outside than its own citizens.

Albania saw the most fantastic exodus flow in Europe since World War 2 with the fall of communism and the economy’s collapse. Along with Switzerland, Germany, and Turkey, Albanians immigrated in large numbers to Greece and Italy.

Albania has a population of 2.8 million people, although more Albanians live outside of Albania due to the lack of employment opportunities and unfavorable living circumstances.

For many people here, living outside of Albania and obtaining employment with higher salaries and the opportunity to further their education or profession are the stuff of dreams.

10# Importance Of çejz

Çejz is all the wealth a bride gathers before entering the marriage rituals. 

Although çejz is a lovely and age-old custom, it is now becoming less and less significant in Albanian society. According to the elders, generations raised in the modern period are generally hesitant to endorse this component of the institution of marriage and often fail to consider the importance of preserving tradition.

They also believe that there are different traditional moments for someone to wear/use portions of their çejz, but many younger people don’t understand that çejz is helpful for a woman’s fresh start.

11# Dolls Are Powerful

Forget going to exorcists; Albanians use dolls instead.

Albanian ideas are really fascinating. While strolling through residential neighborhoods, you could discover teddy bears or dolls on the fences or front doors of the homes. This is done to stave off evil spirits. Another myth is that you should cover spilled liquids with water to fight bad luck.

12# Forget About McDonald

Eat all the Mac you can because once you touch the Albanian soil, you won’t get even a single bite. 

When visiting Albania, don’t anticipate finding a Big Mac! Yes, that’s correct—there isn’t a McDonald’s. Since there would be a substantial cultural backlash against the notion, McDonald’s hasn’t even tried to enter Albania. Coffee shops appeal to Albanians more. Most people find it abhorrent that a fast-food restaurant like McDonald’s would move into their nation.

13# Besa Supremacy

Albanian Traditions

Albanians are the people who make and keep promises, thanks to the besa-code.

You might think about safety in Albania, but this location has nothing to be concerned about. The phrase “to maintain the commitment” is used in Albania and is known as the “code of Besa.” The Albanian people have a moral obligation to support those in need.

14# More than 700,000 bunkers

This country is full of bunkers, so instead of Big Mac, you’ll get bunkers!

Enver Hoxha requested that more than 700,000 bunkers be constructed for an impending conflict during the communist regime. But in reality, everything was fiction, and the bunkers were built for no actual purpose. Even now, you may still see them strewn over Albania. Some have been transformed into hotels, studios for artists, and even agricultural sheds. They were only ever partly used in 1997, during the civil war.

15# No Religious Tolerance?

You will find Albania best regarding religious freedom, but has it always been this way? Sady no!

Albania became the first atheist nation in the world when religion was explicitly outlawed from 1941 to 1992, the communist period. During the rule of Enver Hoxha, several mosques and churches were destroyed by fire. Today, the majority religion in Albania is Islam, yet you may still see individuals eating bacon, drinking alcohol, and without covering their heads.

16# Spirit Flooding People

Everyone in Albania will radiate positivity enough to ward off any sadness inside you. 

There are many happy-go-lucky characters in European. Their charming words, lovely gait, captivating appearance, never-ending vitality, and joy of life flood your spirit. Albanians have kids who will never get old because they persist in conjuring up joy at any age.

17# Espresso Over Everything Else

No matter where you are, feel free to ask for an espresso. 

They are fervent coffee drinkers. The art of relaxing at a café and catching up with friends over an expresso is prominent. In Albania, there are an absurd number of coffee shops. While there, drink expressos to blend in and enjoy the authentic Albanian culture.

Wrapping Up

Albanian Traditions

That’s it for this blog post. Now you know all the key aspects that make Albanian traditions and people unique.

If you’re looking for more critical information about Albanian culture, don’t forget to check out the Ling App. Ling App is the best effort in learning any new language since it provides many learning methods. When you create an account, you’ll discover that we have divided the subjects into beginner, intermediate and advanced levels for you to choose according to your level. From there, we’ll help you gain proficiency in no time! So download the Ling App from Google Playstore or App Store and start learning the Albanian language like a pro.

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