The residents of Nikaj-Mertur are mainly of the Catholic religion, a faith which they have inherited from the ancient Illyrians. In Nikaj-Mërtur, the religious holidays of the Catholic faith are often celebrated in accordance with Christian saints. A special atmosphere is created in the village during festivities, making these are the most recommended times to visit.
Zoja e Merturit / Our Lady of Mertur
Our Lady of Mertur Day is celebrated every September 7th. This holiday lasts three days and is celebrated with friends. It is a very inclusive holiday— a gathering to celebrate all the closest people in a person’s life: children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, and friends. On the night of the feast, the head of the household prepares beeswax candles. A small candle is lit for each male of the house, while a large candle is lit for the entire length of holiday. A piece of cheese and an animal liver are also placed on the same plate as the large candle.
Nata e Buzmit / The Night of Buzmi
Christmas Eve and Day are celebrated on December 24th and 25th respectively. However, in the region of Nikaj-Mertur and in a few other northern tribes, Christmas festivities are known as Nata e Buzmit, the Night of Buzmi. The rites of this festivity are performed on the evening of December 24th and the morning of December 25th.
Zoja e Frorit / Our Lady of Fror
Our Lady of Fror Day is celebrated on February 2nd. In honor of this special day, locals celebrate by preparing dinners with staples like boiled meat, traditional appetizers, and raki. Locals begin the night by lighting candles and saying their prayers, and then proceed to dining together as a family.
Festa e Gështenjës / Chestnut Celebration
Like the local crop fields, the chestnut forests are divided by constructed boundaries defined over generations. In the past, these forest blocks were often more valuable than crop fields. When a family wanted to marry off their daughter, they would often inquire about the groom's economic condition by asking whether he had any chestnut trees. The Nikaj-Mertur area has two types of chestnut: burdock chestnuts and male chestnuts. The burdock chestnut has a smaller, sweeter nut and tends to produce more. The male chestnut has a bigger nut, produces less, and is ideal for making flour. Chestnut picking begins in September and lasts until the second half of October. When they are fully ripe, the chestnuts detach on their own and fall to the ground. This celebration is a pagan holiday dedicated to the joy of producing chestnuts. Because of the tree’s influence in the life and well-being of locals, it is treated as a holy plant.
Opening of the Tourist Season in Nikaj-Mertur RNP
The opening day of the Nikaj-Mërturi tourist season has become an annual holiday and has been named "Holiday in Nikaj-Mërtur". On this holiday come to celebrate not only the inhabitants of the province but also the neighbors who live in other districts as well as those living in other European countries and residents of other provinces, mainly from Kosovo. At the beginning is the formal opening of the tourist season and then an abundant artistic program with folk songs and dances from local artists. After the artistic program, popular games such as "Gurapeshi," "Gjuajtja e Shejit," "Loje Kapuçash," "Me luejt Arushe," and "Bajrakë" are played. After the games, people visit the local fair to enjoy various honeys produced near the area as well as buying folk instruments handmade by local makers. The festival takes place every year in one of these locations: Qender Lekbibaj, T'therme, Logu i Vranës and Curraj i Eperm.