Updated: Sep 20
North Macedonia, Macedonia until February 2019, officially the Republic of North Macedonia.
North Macedonia is a country in Southeast Europe. It is a landlocked country bordering Kosovo to the northwest, Serbia to the north, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south, and Albania to the west.
Reason for Naming
The state's name derives from the Greek word Μακεδονία (Makedonía), a kingdom named after the ancient Macedonians.
Their name, Μακεδόνες (Makedónes), ultimately derives from the ancient Greek adjective μακεδνός (makednós), meaning 'tall' or 'taper', which shares the same root as the adjective μακρός (makrós, 'long, tall, high') in ancient Greek.
The name is believed to have originally meant either 'highlanders' or 'the tall ones', possibly representative of the people.
The flag was adopted on 5 October 1995. The flag consists of a red background containing a stylized yellow sun, with eight enlightening rays extending from the center to the edge of the background. The red color in the flag is one of the traditional colors of Slavic Macedonia. Red and yellow/gold is also part of the nation’s heritage. The stylized sun seen in the flag symbolizes the “new sun of Liberty” that is mentioned in the country’s national anthem and also in the Coat of Arms. The first flag of the country, known as the Virginia Flag, featured the Vergina Sun, a symbol that had been discovered at Aigai, the first capital and burial ground of the ancient kings of Macedon. Greece considers the Vergina Sun to be a Greek symbol and imposed a year-long economic embargo in order to force the then Republic of Macedonia to remove it from its flag, resulting in the current design.
Macedonian is the official language of Macedonia. It is also the most widely spoken language in the country. Macedonian is used widely in government administration, business, media, and the public life of the country. The language is written using the Cyrillic alphabet. Six other languages are officially recognized as the minority languages of the country Albanian, Turkish, Romani, Serbian, Bosnian, and Aromanian. Several foreign languages like English, German, French, and Serbo-Croatian are spoken in Macedonia. English is more popular among the Macedonian youth and is growing in popularity in the country. English classes are offered in the educational institutions of the nation. German and Serbo-Croatian are also spoken by the younger generation of the country. A large section of the Macedonian society also has knowledge of French, German, Serbo-Croatian, and Russian.
Eastern Orthodox Christianity is the majority faith of North Macedonia, making up 65% of the population, the vast majority of whom belong to the Macedonian Orthodox Church.
Various other Christian denominations account for 0.4% of the population.
Muslims form 33.3% of the population. North Macedonia has the fifth-highest proportion of Muslims in Europe, after those in Kosovo, Turkey, Albania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The remaining 1.4% are "unaffiliated" by a 2010 Pew Research estimation. There is also a tiny Protestant community
Macedonian denar (MKD).
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Unitary parliamentary republic.
The country's climate is continental due to the fact that it has no sea outlet and is isolated from the Adriatic and Aegean Seas by mountain ranges.
The largest cities are located at higher altitudes than sea level, frequently in valleys, which exacerbates both the winter cold and the summer heat. Like the rest of the Balkan Peninsula, Macedonia is vulnerable to cold surges from the north or east.
Winter in Macedonia is generally cold, although the temperature varies with altitude. The average temperature in January is slightly above freezing 0°C at the lowest altitudes. The winter weather is not always stable: there are calm periods, but also periods of intense cold due to outbreaks of air masses from Russia, which are able to lower the temperature to around -20 °C. Summer is hot in the valleys located at lower altitudes, where average maximum temperatures are around 31 °C. The temperature range is wide and moisture is not high, so nights are usually cool, but the days can be hot, with peaks of 40 °C.
Sunshine is frequent, and the rains are relatively rare, occurring in the form of thunderstorms in the afternoon.
The best time to visit Macedonia is from May to September.
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