Officially known as the Republic of Macedonia, Macedonia is a country that is located in the southeastern region of Europe in the Balkan Peninsula. The nation has a rich culture that incorporates a blend of both modern and traditional beliefs and revolves around things like epic poetry, well-preserved customs, and breathtaking folklore.
The cuisine of Macedonia is representative of Balkan culture with influences from other regions such as Greece, Italy, Germany, and Turkey. The climate of the country allows for the growth of a number of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. One of the most famous foods from the country is the Šopska salad, which is made of tomatoes, onions, pepper, cucumber, parsley, and other vegetables. Dairy products, alcohol, and wines are also popular. Alcoholic beverages include Tavče Gravče and rakija while non-alcoholic beverages include coffee and yogurt.
Music is also a strong aspect of the culture. The music is usually accompanied by equally strong and dynamic dances. To support music and other forms of art, the country has more than ten theater groups that host hundreds of musical performances in a year. In addition, the whole nation has an annual music festival that focuses on the cultural side of music.
Currently, more than 60% of the population lives in urban places, especially in Skopje. The architecture has had considerable influence from other cultures in history such the Byzantines and the Ottomans. In modern times, the architecture has come to include high-rise apartments although some tradition is maintained. For example, urban areas have traditional open bazaars.
Some of the more popular sports in the country include handball and football. The national football team plays home games at the Philip II Arena under the management of the Football Federation of Macedonia. The handball team has won a couple of trophies such as the EHF Women's Champions League in 2002. The country also has a basketball team although it has not had much success. Swimming is also important with the country hosting The Ohrid Swimming Marathon as well as taking part in the Olympic Games.
Christianity is the most popular religion in the country followed by Islam. Orthodox Christianity accounts for about 66% of the population while Islam accounts for about 30%. There are smaller populations of Roman Catholics, atheists, and Protestants. Some of the more popular religious holidays include Christmas, Easter, Kurban Bayram, and Ramadan for both religions.