Albania, or “Shqiperi” in the Albanian language, is a country located on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe with a coastline at the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea in the west. The capital and the largest city are Tirana. Albania’s flag and national emblem have the national color red as the background symbolizing bravery, strength, and a double-headed black eagle in the center representing the sovereign state of Albania. The folk is known for their strong national identity, which can be noticed in the national motto, Ti Shqipëri, më jep nder, më jep emrin Shqipëtar -You, Albania, give me honor, give me the name Albanian.” Albania’s diverse ethnicity consists of Albanians, Greeks, Aromanians, Ashkali and Balkan Egyptians, Arbëreshë, while the official national language is Albanian. The country also represents a mosaic in religious terms, including Sunni Islam, Bektashi Islam, Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and some minorities belonging to other religions. Albania uses the “Lek” as the official monetary unit, as they are a candidate for the European Union. The country code is “+355”, while the official domain is “.al.”
The founder of the country is Charles of Anjou, the first king of the “Kingdom of Albania” in the 13th century. The national hero is George Kastrioti, or “Skanderbeg,” who was the leader of the rebellion against the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. He became a myth, a national symbol in the late 19th century during the Albanian National Awakening, the Albanian renaissance, which led the Albanians to have political and cultural strength to be independent. The Albanian Declaration of Independence was signed on the day of 28th of November 1912, which is still celebrated as the “National Flag Day” in Albania and Kosovo.
One of Albania’s national symbols is the national monument “Mother Albania, “ a giant statue in Tirana. The monument symbolizes Albania as a mother, guarding over the country, honoring the people who gave their lives for her. The national mausoleum is “Kodra E Gështenjave,” “The Mausoleum of the Albanian Royal Family,” which holds King Zog and his family’s remainings.
The country’s national symbol, animal, and the national bird is the eagle. “Red Poppy” is the national flower, while the national tree is the “Olive Olea.” Cherry is the national fruit from which the national drink “Raki” is made. The national dish is “Tave Kosi,” a rice and lamb dish cooked with a mixture of yogurt and eggs.
Albania’s national dance is called “Dibra’s Double Dance,” a dance for two males with unique footwork. “Cifteli” is a two-stringed long lute described as Albania’s national instrument. Like many other Balkan countries, the national dress is a “Fustanella,” a skirt-like garment worn by men. Albania’s national poet is Naim Frashëri, whose most famous work is the history of national symbol and hero Skanderbeg. Like many other Mediterranean and Balkan countries, Albanians are very passionate about their national sport, football. Albania also has a national airline called “Air Albania.”View the national symbols of Albania below: