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bulgarians-dance-on-fire-in-downtown-sofia-05-22-2017 24 May 17 Bulgarians Dance on Fire in Downtown Sofia

Bulgaria’s first ever Festival of Fire, featuring “Nestinarstvo” – аn ancient pagan ritual in which people dance on burning coals, took place in front of the Soviet Army monument in the capital, Sofia, on Saturday evening. Hundreds gathered to watch the dances - popular in some areas of the Strandzha mountain region in south-east Bulgaria and the north-east Greece - performed to the sounds of Bulgarian folk singing and bagpipes.

deluge-of-rain-leaves-novi-sad-streets-underwater-05-24-2017 24 May 17 Deluge of Rain Leaves Novi Sad Streets Underwater

A torrential downpour and blustering winds hit the northern Serbian city of Novi Sad on Tuesday evening, turning urban streets into rivers as drains were unable to cope with the deluge of rain. Some residents were forced to abandon their cars and run to dry land after the water level on the roads started rising.

adventurers-descend-on-prizren-for-annual-tube-race-05-22-2017 22 May 17 Adventurers Descend on Prizren for Annual Tube Race

Prizren in southern Kosovo held its 13th BunarFest on May 20, an annual event where the main attraction is an amateur race on inflatable tubes down the Pec Bistrica river. Despite the cool temperature and drizzly weather, dozens of adventure lovers from Kosovo, the region and even Western Europe, jumped into the water to take part. 

serbian-town-takes-in-refugees-evicted-from-belgrade-05-17-2017 17 May 17 Serbian Town Takes in Refugees Evicted from Belgrade

A centre for asylum seekers in the western Serbian town of Sjenica, which initially housed around 300 refugees, has adapted a former textile manufacturing building to make space for an extra 250 migrants after hundreds were forced out of Belgrade last week.

thousands-attend-croatian-wwii-commemoration-at-bleiburg-05-15-2017 15 May 17 Thousands Attend Croatian WWII Commemoration at Bleiburg

Some 15,000 people, including the chair of the Croatian Parliament, Gordan Jandrokovic, and several Croatian ministers, attended Saturday’s commemoration in the Austrian town of Bleiburg to mark the 72nd anniversary of the killing of Croatian collaboration forces and civilians who were captured at the end of WWII.

albanian-lgbt-activists-cycle-for-family-rights-05-13-2017 13 May 17 Albanian LGBT Activists Cycle for Family Rights

Albania's LGBT community, joined by the Albanian Ombudsman, Igli Totozani, cycled through Tirana on Saturday, the sixth annual such Pride event in the Albanian capital. This year, the main message of the event was the need for all families - no matter their makeup - to be legally recognised by the state.

migrants-evicted-from-belgrade-barrack-05-12-2017 12 May 17 Migrants Evicted from Belgrade Barrack

Hundreds of migrants have been moved out of the derelict warehouse where they were living near the main train station in Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, having been offered accommodation in refugee reception centres instead. The building is to be demolished to make way for the Arab-backed Belgrade Waterfront project.

balkan-states-celebrate-victory-day-and-europe-day-05-10-2017 10 May 17 Balkan States Celebrate Victory Day and Europe Day

Across the Balkans, May 9 was a day of celebration, with commemorations for Victory Day taking place to mark the defeat of Nazi Germany in WWII, as well as celebrations for Europe Day, marking the date when the Schuman Declaration, which would lead to the formation of the European Union, was first presented.

unusual-bosnian-mosque-marks-400th-birthday-05-08-2017 08 May 17 Unusual Bosnian Mosque Marks 400th Birthday

In the village of Plana near Bileca in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina stands an unusual mosque, which this year celebrates its 400th birthday. First constructed in 1617, the mosque, with its unique minaret, was nearly destroyed on three occasions, but was each time reconstructed, maintaining its Ottoman features.

house-of-flowers-05-04-2017 04 May 17 Tito’s Admirers Pay Tribute at Belgrade Mausoleum

Communists and other admirers of former Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito paid their respects on Thursday, the 37th anniversary of his death, at the House of Flowers in Belgrade, where he is buried.

bulgarian-carpet-weavers-win-royal-admirers-05-03-2017 03 May 17 Bulgarian Carpet-Weavers Win Royal Admirers

Carpets woven by Bulgarian women using vintage technology at a small factory in the village of Konstadovo have been sold to Buckingham Palace, the Bank of England, the British Museum, the Dutch royal family and Mick Jagger.

storm-macedonia-parliament-04-28-2017 28 Apr 17 Violence Erupts as Protesters Storm Macedonia Parliament

At least 45 people were injured when supporters of the former ruling VMRO DPMNE party stormed the legislature after the former opposition elected a parliamentary speaker in a bid to form a government.

protesters-march-en-masse-for-savamala-demolitions-anniversary-04-26-2017 26 Apr 17 Protesters March En Masse for Savamala Demolitions Anniversary

Thousands of protests – young and old - took to the streets of the Serbian capital on Tuesday night for the 'On the Trail of Phantoms' demonstration, organised by “Let’s not drown Belgrade” (Ne davimo Beograd) to mark the first anniversary of the nocturnal demolitions in Savamala, where the Belgrade Waterfront project is being built.
Representatives of the initiative handed out flyers stating that the "crime in Savamala” shows that Serbia’s development policy favours private interests, “exploiting the citizens of Serbia for the construction of luxury resorts."

balkan-muslims-mark-lailat-al-miraj-04-24-2017 24 Apr 17 Balkan Muslims Mark Lailat al Miraj

Muslim worshippers in Bosnia’s capital, Sarajevo, attended a ceremony on Sunday evening to mark one of the most important events on the Islamic calendar, Lailat at Miraj, commemorating the Prophet Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to the ‘farthest mosque’ in Jerusalem. Muslims across the region and the world held ceremonies to mark the event, taking place a month before Ramadan begins.

kosovo-medieval-fortress-of-novo-brdo-undergoes-makeover-04-19-2017 19 Apr 17 Kosovo Medieval Fortress of Novo Brdo Undergoes Makeover

Erected atop a hill overlooking eastern Kosovo, Novo Brdo Fortress - situated around 40km east of Pristina - is undergoing restoration following decades of neglect.The fortress, dating from the 14th century, can be reached by a recently constructed road, but the attraction suffers from a lack of promotion and guides for its infrequent visitors. This often-overlooked historical site is protected under law having been designated a Special Protective Zone.

erdogan-s-supporters-in-bosnia-celebrate-referendum-result-04-18-2017 18 Apr 17 Erdogan’s Supporters in Bosnia Celebrate Referendum Result

After victory was awarded to Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the crucial referendum on Sunday, a number of his supporters in Bosnia and Herzegovina - including many Turks living in the country - celebrated on the streets of the capital, Sarajevo. A convoy of cars displaying flags of Bosnia and Turkey, as well as messages of support for Erdogan, who has been granted broad powers as a result of the vote, wound its way around the city.