“And here we have the free matrix collecting all its folk dancers at the festival “ Ilindenski denovi” the past, recent and new, pointing and surely looking ahead as it exposes the look of Macedonia.
May we have a happy beginning of our first festival.”
-“A Blessing for the first edition”,
Bulletin of the festival, 1971
The National festival for folk songs and dances “Ilindenski denovi” , Bitola was established in 1971 and supported by the Assembly of the Municipality of Bitola, the cultural and educational communities in Macedonia and Bitola and under the patronage of the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia.
With deep symbolism implemented with the liberating ideas of the two Ilindens, with honor to the both known and unknown who implemented in the cornerstones of the motherland and folk originality, inspired by the religious holiday St. Ilija the first National festival for folk songs and dances took place in Bitola from 30th July to 2nd August 1971.
Twenty folk ensembles from every part of Macedonia performing at the beautiful surrounding of the summer terrace of the Home of the Army in Bitola, have glittered with their authentic clearness, melorhytmic, colours, diversity and brilliance.
The festival was born.