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Sir Arthur Evans witnessed the celebration of Rosalia in Skopje

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🌸Surviving traces of Rosalia, or spring feast of departed in Skopje

Did you know that the name “May” may have been inspired by the goddess Maia, the divine protector of nature? The Romans, known for their vibrant celebrations, dedicated many holidays to this enchanting month. One of them was Rosalia, a joyful festivity filled with roses and the spirit of honoring the departed.

During Rosalia, the Romans adorned graves with beautiful spring flowers, especially roses. As a symbol of respect for ancestors and the past, families gathered to share food, wine, and strengthen their bonds. Can you see the resemblance to our present-day traditions?

This ancient pagan holiday eventually intertwined with Christianity, finding its place in the commemoration of All Souls’ Day (Задушница). The Romans held this significant celebration multiple times a year, elevating it to the status of a national holiday. The rich Roman culture preserved the tradition of Rosalia, and interestingly, the earliest recorded celebrations date back to the reign of Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD). It was during this period that Colonia Flavia Scupinorum, now the archaeological site of Scupi, emerged.

Fascinating historical records by Sir Arthur Evans, from his time in Skopje and Macedonia, shed light on the strong roots of Rosalia among the local population. Even in the 1950s, ethnographic video materials showcased remnants of this ancient holiday, including the captivating ‘Rusal dances’, which have endured throughout the centuries in Macedonia.

🌸 Discover the fascinating origins of May and its connection to ancient traditions! 🌺

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the rich tapestry of history that has shaped our traditions and cultural heritage. Share your thoughts and memories of May’s enchanting festivities with your bellowed family! 🌼✨

📷 The Roses of Heliogabalus (1888) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema