On Friday night local Wroclawians mixed with party-goers from the Balkan countries, Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine for Orthodox New Year.
Also known as the Old New Year, the Orthodox New Year is on January 14th according to the Julian calendar. Just like many people do at the turn of the year, Orthodox Christians typically spend the day thinking of meaningful resolutions for the New Year as well as recalling memories and thoughts from the past 12 months. The activities have a lot in common with other New Year celebrations too; that means large meals and lots of drinks, fireworks as well as musical entertainment.
For those who wanted to celebrate the ocassion last Friday there were two venues in town to choose from: Pub Wędrówki and Klubokawiarnia Mleczarnia.
Those who gathered at Pub Wędrówki celebrated in style irrespective of the venue's cramped interior, and there were positive vibes and smiles a plenty as the night wore on. The event was attended by people from numerous different backgrounds and cultures, which fostered a lively atmosphere. The party ran long into the night and those present will have left knowing full well they had kick-started their new year with a fitting bash.
In the mean time, the owners of Mleczarnia invited the Bulgarian folklore group “Balkan folk acoustic” to play some popular Balkan tunes. The band sparked high levels of nostalgia by playing several numbers from Goran Bregović’s back catalogue, while Serbian DJ Vera Pavlović added more variety to the evening by happily playing requests from those on the dancefloor. More than 400 people attended the celebration (and indeed many more had to be turned away as the venue had reached its capacity), which also ended in the early hours of the morning.
The Balkan Acoustic Band at Mleczarnia (archive footage from 2012)
As has been said already, at both events locals partied alongside various different people from countries around the globe. These events allowed people to celebrate their own New Year in a traditional fashion, or for those who are not Orthodox, to see how the party looks for themselves. I'm sure almost everybody who was at these parties appreciated the fact they were set up, and I for one would like to take my hat off to the organisers.