Gjirokastër National Folklore Festival

Gjirokastër National Folklore Festival (Albanian: Festivali Folklorik Kombëtar i Gjirokastrës) is an artistic festival taking place every five years at Gjirokastër Castle in Gjirokastër, southern Albania. The festival was first held in 1968 and is regarded as the most important event in Albanian culture.[1] The festival showcases Albanian traditional music, dress and dance from Albania, the diaspora, and Albanian inhabited lands throughout the Balkans and Southern Italy. The Gjirokastër Festival followed the tradition of the Folklore Festivals started in Tirana in 1949.[1][2]

Festival's stage is located inside Gjirokastër Castle


Folk singers in the 1988 edition

The Gjirokastër National Folklore Festival was preceded by the National Festival of Song, Music and Dance held in Tiranë, capital of Albania in 1949[2] and subsequently on November 25–27, 1959. Ten years later, on October 8–16, 1968, the first National Folklore Festival was held in Gjirokastër to celebrate the birthday of Enver Hoxha, the communist leader of Albania and native of the city.[3] The festival was reheld every five years in 1973, 1978, 1983, and 1988. In 1995 the festival was held in the citadel of Berat, while since September 2000 it has been held again in Gjirokastër.[1]

The 9th season was held in September 2009.[4] The winners of the Festival was the Shkodër County as overall best performance, whereas the best individual performances was deemed those of bards Sherif Dervishi and Myfterin Uka.[5]

The festival's 10th season took place from May 10–16, 2015.[6] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival's 11th season was rescheduled for May 1 to 8, 2021.[7]

Other festivalsEdit

Traditional Albanian clothing, dances, and folklore are showcased in several other festivals including Sofra Dardane every June in Bajram Curri, Oda Dibrane in Peshkopi, Logu i Bjeshkeve every August in Kelmend, Cham Dance Festival in Saranda and Konispol, and other festivals in various Albanian cities.


  1. ^ a b c Tole, Vasil. "Inventory of performers on iso-polyphony" (PDF). UNESCO. p. 52. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
  2. ^ a b "YouTube Festivali Folkloristik 1949". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
  3. ^ Ahmedaja, Ardian; Haid, Gerlinde (2008). European voices: Multipart singing in the Balkans. Vol. 1. Wien : Böhlau. ISBN 9783205780908.
  4. ^ Top Channel (25 September 2009). "Gjirokaster, starton Festivali Folklorik Kombetar". Top Channel (in Albanian). Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  5. ^ Gazeta Start (2009-09-30). "Shkodra fiton Festivalin e Gjirokastrës". Gazeta Start (in Albanian). Archived from the original on 18 January 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  6. ^ "Shqiptarja.com - Tole: Festivali i Gjirokastrės tė mbahet njėherė nė tre vjet". Archived from the original on 2015-02-23. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  7. ^ www.visit-gjirokastra.com https://www.visit-gjirokastra.com/event/gjirokastra-folk-festival-2020/. Retrieved 2020-07-04. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)

External linksEdit