Every year since 1977 International Museum Day is organised worldwide around May 18. This day is an occasion to raise awareness on how important museums are in the development of society. The theme of 2016 International Museum Day was Museums and Cultural Landscapes, and the objective was is to raise awareness of the fact that, “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.” Organised on and around 18 May each year, the events and activities planned to celebrate International Museum Day can last a day, a weekend or a whole week. Participation in International Museum Day is growing among museums all over the world. In 2015, more than 35,000 museums participated in the event in some 145 countries.
On this occasion for the International Museum day 2016, “UNESCO Club HAEMUS” – Skopje in cooperation with the City Museum of Shtip, and supported by the program “Go2Macedonia” of the tourist agency Arbotravel-Macedonia, on the 15 may 2016, organized full-day excursions titled ,,UNESCO tour through the East Planning region“.
The purpose of this tour through the promotion of the International Museum Day was a public attention to at least one institution of this kind that cares and protects rich cultural heritage of the Republic of Macedonia, in this case – the City Museum of Shtip. The symbolism of this year’s theme ‘Cultural Landscape’ was achieved by visiting several cultural and historical monuments of the cultural surrounding of Shtip. As an additional attraction, the ritual ‘Chetrse’ placed on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO since 2013 was included in the excursion.
The itinerary began with a visit of Shtip, the city that hosts the custom ,,Chetrse”, placed under the protection of UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of the humanity since 2013. Upon arrival in Shtip, the group climbed at the fortress above the town known by the locals as ISARO, where visually and practically was explain the ,,Chetrse” rutial placed on the UNESCO WHL. The tour continued with the visit of the Museum of the City of Shtip, which was nominated for the ,,Forum of Slavic Cultures” award, and after visit of the St. Nicholas church in which wonderful Icon Galley is placed, a small break for refreshment and lunch was made. After the break, the tour proceeded to Bargala, an Late Roman/Early Byzantine archaeological site and an episcopal seat from antiquity that existed within this ancient town. As a highlight of the tour, small beautiful byzantine St. George church was included. The tour ended late afternoon in Skopje.