"A nation without its own folklore and without solid ethno-geneses is a tree without roots."

Ancient Macedonian culture was closely linked with the culture of Hellenes, which after the fall of the Macedonian empire was soon completely transformed, leaving only the memory of the great Macedonians. After the 6th century, a new culture came to the Balkans - the new Macedonians with Slavic origin, who had a completely different culture - they were later called Macedonians, living in the geographical region of Macedonia.
Everything from folklore has gone through the creative spirit of Macedonians. There were produced highly original and extremely artistic and craft values, ​​whose strongest expression can be seen in the phenomenon of folk art which contains venerable challenges, aspirations, sufferings and hopes of the Macedonian people. In such constellations, richness of forms and means of expression, they are nothing but emotional and artistic response to the turbulent cultural and historical processes through which Macedonians passed in the past millennia.

What is a folklore? 

Under folklore we understand all the material and spiritual culture of people; songs and legends that they as a community have preserved over thousands of years, their traditions and customs, and even the way they dressed and built their houses. Folklore of the local population is like a whole system of beliefs that are added to the standard form of Christianity - the belief in magic and the energy of nature, and even the ancient rituals that were given Christian names only; at the same time, local folklore is telling fascinating stories about the struggles of the Saints with dragons or meetings with shepherds female demons that are called "fairies", stories about mighty heroes like King Marko (Krale Marko), which protects people and so on.

What is fascinating about the Balkan folklore is that the pagan culture is perfectly preserved under Orthodox Christian mask. One reason or another, Christianization here in southern Europe is not as complete as in most other places. People here call themselves Christians from the 9th century, but in fact, they have preserved their pagan traditions, giving them Christian form or name.

Macedonian folk world is full of magic and superstition, beautiful female demons (Fairies) and dragons. All traditional rituals and celebrations were considered an act of magic, most importantly for most of people, it was the only factor that gave balance with nature and nature's anger. In this context, there is a custom in July, is a great example of this. This custom is called Goreshnici (Days of heat) or Churuci (smoke or Schur). Throughout the year people retained the fireplace in their homes burning, and the only time I lit a fire outside the house are the days of Goreshnici (hot days) from 17th-19th July. In these three days it is forbidden to work and believed that if someone does not respect the customs, his home or grain will burn.

Macedonian traditional medicine

In the Middle Ages medical treatments were done by healers, who were both spiritual and community leaders. This is related to the fact that these people have inherited their knowledge from the ancient shamans. Treatments often include a dose of mysticism, but in most cases they are based on a deep knowledge of herbs.

Even today, homeopathic remedies and natural treatments for most diseases are really popular in Macedonia. A simple Google search for cancer in Macedonia, shows how popular are natural remedies for cancer.

Songs and legends from Macedonia.

Macedonian folk music is a synthesis of what the Macedonian people carried from their old land and what they inherited from their today's homeland and the wider environment. This music brings together ancient (Greek and Roman) elements, such as Byzantine (with an impact on spiritual music), Oriental (chalgii) and Western influences (old town songs (starogradski)).

Folk songs from Macedonia are known for their beauty, but there is something more in them. The lyrics of most of the songs date back to ancient times, and sometimes they are just playful songs, but sometimes they tell long and sad stories. Singing has always been a part of the activities of the Macedonians, they sing for grief and joy. These songs often tell stories about mythical creatures and legends.

Macedonian folk songs also tell stories of legendary heroes. These heroes are given superhuman powers and usually portrayed as protectors of the people. One of the most beloved heroes in Macedonia and the Balkans, was the real historical figure - Krale Marko, who was the ruler of the Prilep kingdom.

Musical folklore tradition is embodied in thousands of folk dances and Macedonian folk songs, thousands in number, sung long ago. It is a direct link with the past of the Macedonian people.
Macedonian folk art is a cultural phenomenon which can't leave one indifferent. It is based on cultural values from the ancient Macedonian experience, but it has also involved elements from later periods and some element from nations which existed in this area for centuries.

Macedonian folk costumes

The richness and diversity of traditional culture is most strikingly expressed in folk costumes. The red color and the color of the wine are colors of earth and fertility, while gold is the color of the gods (the sky) That is why our national costume is red with gold embroidery.
Folk Costumes in Macedonia have a tradition that lasts for centuries. They are part of the material culture of the Macedonian people and an important branch of folk art. Created as a collective benefit of all Macedonian people, they have been passed from generation to generation for many years and during their development, they included many elements of the diverse cultural influences that have crossed this part of the Balkans. The biggest influence comes from the Old Balkan, then the traditions of the civilizations of ancient Greece and the dressing culture of the ancient Slavs which inhabited this part of the Balkan Peninsula from V to VII century.

The influence of folklore is great and in contemporary musical trends, where authors go towards artistic stylized folk rituals, without turning away from the original, the folklore idiom. Folk songs were and remain permanent source of new inspirations in music creation.

Material folk artifacts

Items such as dolls, decorative items used in religious rituals, hand-built houses and stables, handmade clothes and other trades are considered folk artifacts, grouped in the field known as "material culture" . In addition, the figures reflect folk characters and can be considered folk artifacts depending on how they are used in one culture. Its definition will depend on whether the artifacts are used and appreciated by the society that made them and whether they meet the social aesthetics.