Galichnik Wedding (Galička Svadba)

Galička Svadba – Galichnik Wedding – Галичка Свадба

The Galička Svadba is an annual two-day event that brings to life the local traditions and cultural heritage of the mountain village, Galičnik (Галичник, Galichnik) located in the Mavrovo National Park on the Bistra mountain massif.

This wedding celebrates centuries’ old traditions and is a marvelous and sensory captivating showcase of Macedonian heritage and customs for the costumes, music, dances, food, architecture and events during the ceremony.

The Galichka Svadba is celebrated every year on the weekend closest to the 12th of July, the day on the Gregorian calendar to celebrate the apostles, Saints Peter and Paul, in honor of their martyrdom and dedication to Christ.

As some of the events occur away from the main gathering of spectators, such as visiting the cemetery and inviting family members who have passed away, the spectators are kept entertained by traditional folk music and folk dancing, called “oros”.

Galičnik is located about 19.5 kilometers (35 minute drive via the Galički road) southwest of Mavrovo and 33.5 kilometers (one hour drive through Selce) northeast of Debar.

This is the schedule of the wedding (svadba) we attended.  The pictures in the galleries that follow the schedule have been arranged in chronological order.


19:30 Decorating, stacking the banners and firing the rifle -Китење, редење на бајракот и фрлање пушка. The ceremony begins with the groom hanging a flag on his house followed by a gunshot announcing his departure to meet up with his best man and friends to celebrate.
19:45 Reception of the Drummers – Пречек на топаните
20:00 The Mother-in-law’s Dance – Свекрвино Оро
20:15 Performing the dances (oros) “Nevestinsko” and “Teškoto” – Изведба на ората Невестинско и тешкото
20:30 Going to the water – Одење на вода



09:00 Visiting the cemetery and inviting the dead – Канење на мртвите.  This is an act of paying respect to family members who have passed away by inviting them to the wedding.
09:45 Inviting the Godfather- Канење на Кумот
10:00 Shaving the Groom – Бричење на зетот.  The shaving of the groom is symbolic of the boy leaving his mother and father (leaving home).
10:15 Going to Get the Bride – Тргнување по невестата.  This is an entourage of in-laws on horseback led by a flag bearer they go to the Bride’s house and formally ask for permission to arrive and to ask for the Bride.
10:30 Arrival of the Marriage Brokers (including in-laws)- Пристигнување на стројниците.  The flag bearer hands over the flag and the flag is hung by the window. Then a member of the bridegroom’s entourage leads his horse in front of the bride’s house.  Next, the bride looks at the bridegroom through her wedding ring and says “Through this ring that I look at you, welcome me to your heart”. The bridegroom kisses the hands of the bride’s parents and then they put a towel over his shoulder.
10:45 Dressing the Bride – Строевање на невестата
11:00 Loading of the trunks and sending the Bride – Товарење ма ковчезите и испраќање на невестата
11:15 Reception of the Bride – Пречек на невестата. The bridegroom’s mother welcomes the bride with a sieve, a cake and a goblet with wine. She the circles around the bride three times (for good luck) gently tapping her on the head with the cake.
11:30 Wedding in the Church – Венчавање в црква
12:15 Taking the Bride to the Fountain and Starting the Dance- Носење на невестата на вода и заигрување
12:30 Sending the Drummers (Farewell to the Musicians) – Испраќање на топаните
12:35 End of the Wedding Ceremony – Крај на Свадбарските Церемонии

If I were to create a list of the “Top 10 Macedonian Treasures”, the “Top 10 Attractions in Macedonia” or “The 1000 Places You Must See Before You Die”, the village of Galičnik and this Wedding Festival would rank very high in all three lists.


  1. Pictures of the Participants Before the Ceremony



  1. Shaving the Groom



  1. Going to Get The Bride



  1. Mother-In-Law’s Oro



  1. Arrival of the Bride and the Wedding Trunks



  1. Oro Performed After the Arrival of the Bride



  1. Reception of the Bride



  1. Oro Performed After the Reception of the Bride



  1. The Wedding Ceremony



  1. Taking the Bride to the Fountain and the Bridal Dance



  1. The Bridal Dance Musicians


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About Brko

I am a Macedonia enthusiast and an adventurer. I really enjoy being immersed in the Macedonian culture, meeting people from all over Makedonija and sharing their traditions and cultural heritage.