Macedonia in January is more than beautiful. The numerous mountains give this country a big advantage because where there are mountains there are also mountain villages. If you are looking for a place to feel the calmness in January, we warmly recommend the village of Kuratica. A place which will captivate you with its picturesque diversity.
We introduce you to Goran, the man who is "guilty as charged" of the good touristic promotion of Kuratica. He is one dedicated person with his moving engine – the strong faith. The step which is crucial for good things to happen, as he often says.
Goran is a resident of the village with 200 inhabitants. This number is much higher during the year, because tourists who have heard about the village are constantly coming thanks to the altitude of this village - 1,080 meters, the good food and the beautiful nature.
Goran organizes donkey tours for tourists during the summer. This is an unforgettable experience for all those who are more into unusual tours.
What is quite interesting is the fact that for donkey tours they talk to every family who has a donkey in their yard. These cute social animals are owned by the villagers. The main reason is for light draught work in the woods, for riding or as funny companions along the tours for the visitors.
The tours are very unusual, of course in a good way. With donkeys we pass through the old houses with authentic architecture that is eye-catching for the travellers. Here and there are the old women who curiously go out on the road to meet the tourists. They often know how to treat them with homemade food, free of charge and offered from the heart.
These women who remain living in the village have a lot of antiques that are valuable to discuss and explore. When a tourist comes to the village he is interested in the uniqueness. The knitting loom, that women own and use from time to time. is a precious original object to be seen and even to experience the old-fashion knitting.
Our local hero Goran is in love also with the untouched nature of Kuratica. The mountains around the village are one of the most important get-away places.
The village can be reached quite easily. Located 20 km northeast of Ohrid, or five km north of the road Ohrid - Resen. It has about 150 houses, a primary school with about 15 students, and the main activity is animal husbandry.
Livestock helps to produce delicious homemade food that is served to tourists. In the village there is an ethno restaurant in which homemade sausage, “gomleze” in the local way, “furanji” bread, “pitulici” with a centuries-old tradition and homemade wine are served.
In this village the Orthodox New Year is traditionally celebrated with a manifestation. Every year on January 13th and 14th, a masquerade is organized by the villagers. At this event, locals and tourists dress in costumes, disguising themselves as public figures who have had an impact over the past year and presenting their work in a sarcastic way. Once a year festival where locals trough the masks are using the freedom of Expression. This centuries-old tradition has been raised to a higher level in the last 20 years.
On the first day, January 13, all the masks go through the village and collect gifts from house to house. It is believed that through this ritual they chase demons out of people's homes. Funny gesture accepted with joy by the local families who are also part of the great show is something really fantastic worth seeing.
The second day is always dedicated to the main parade and festivities in the village where the locals choose the three best masks. Homemade food and drinks are prepared and people are simply going with the flow. Nothing less then positive vibes and enthusiasm.
This event attracts more and more tourists every year.