On this day, there is a carnival here. It is a day of mutual forgiveness, during which the younger seek forgiveness from the older, and the children visit their relatives and family friends and they give the children money. The Procka’s date varies, but it is always seven weeks before Easter.
Every year in Prilep, the Prochka is a good occasion to celebrate and also, to participate to the international parade. That weekend, a lot of people from many different countries participate, and it is with a lot of happiness. We saw groups from Albania, Slovenia, Moldavia, Montenegro and Bulgaria participating in the carnival together with the Macedonians. Everyone was showing their traditional clothes, their monsters costumes, their own songs and dances. There is a traditional mask from Prilep. The butchers disguise with furs of animals and the mask is called “Mechkari”. A lot of different shows were presented, and we could see dances, songs and a lot of funny moments, during which traditional music has been mixed with pop and electro.
For a French guy like me, it was very funny to discover how Macedonians make their own carnival, it look a little bit like a mix of Halloween and Mardi Gras, where little children disguise in little flowers, walk with very scary two-meter tall monsters, half-human half-goat.
It has been a wonderful moment for me, and Prochka now makes part of the thing that I want to experience again, maybe to be disguised and be part of the carnival.
Written by: Paul Knecht-Deyber