'Tis the season, folks...December is already here!
All over the world, December carries in itself celebration, joy, love and reflection for the year that is yet to come. Now, it's hard to imagine this time of the year without glittering lights,without the Christmas tree and the heart-warming gifts. But have you ever thought about how it's like to celebrate Christmas in Albania?
During the communism era, religion in Albania was banned for everyone and as a result Christmas was on the "Black list". Also considering that the majority of albanians are muslims, Christmas was an unusual thing to celebrate.However, observing the changes that took place after the fall of communism, I can say that no matter what religion and no matter what happened along the history, Christmas is being celebrated widely in Albania and it marks almost for everyone the best time of the year. For albanians this time of the year it's all about family and sharing love with each-other. They invite close relatives and friends to celebrate together and to have a quality time.
Tirana gives you the impression of a new city, everything looks different, shinny and in complete harmony. Even people seem to like the atmosphere and if you go for a stroll in the city centre where the Christmas market is taking place, you will immediately notice the joyful crowd. People singing, dancing, taking photos, playing some crazy games or grabbing a beer (well, not just one). And you can imagine who are the happiest people in the whole world; ofcourse children. They are the ones who seem to enjoy this season more than anyone else. Running around so carelessly, taking photos with Santa Claus and telling him how good they have been this year. Can't say the same about adults and myself...we are always trying to avoid Santa and his idea of "good people".
Christmas market this year is situated at Skanderbeg square. There are some small wooden houses providing food and drinks all day and night, starting from beer houses, coffee shops, juice bars and places to eat, mostly traditional food. Take a hot wine or a hot chocolate, sit near the fire and enjoy the atmosphere. However if you don't want to stay sit all the time, I suggest you to visit museums and galleries that are situated around the city centre.
For the nightlovers, I would suggest a long stroll around the city...It's so quiet in the late hours and you can have the city all for yourself. But if you want to party until the morning I will mention my favorite bar in town. It offers the best service and atmosphere. "Charl's",located in the Blloku area (most famous area for bars), will make sure to entertain you and give you a great time.If you are a rock music fan, this is the best place to go and the prices are very affordable for someone that doesn't want to spend much.
Wish you a happy Christmas...
Love from Albania !
Picture © Credits to etour.al
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