What does it mean when you are invited to Xhiro in Albania?

Xhiro is a tradition in Albania that refers to an evening walk. Although at first, it does not sound like anything unseen, xhiro is a special ritual, so special and rich in meaning, that it bears its special name.

It is the time of day when all work is more or less finished when temperatures drop to comfortable levels, and when literally hundreds and even thousands of people walk up and down the main streets of the city, meet friends, watch their children play in the park, drink coffee in bars and exchange various information they heard along the way.




Translated, xhiro means “walk” and is read as “gyro”. This activity has a long history and roots in special circumstances.




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A post shared by Mohamed Ahmed (@travelwizmoe)



When we go back a few decades, in communist Albania, which was cut off from the world, going out to clubs, cinema, and restaurants was not available to a large number of inhabitants. Therefore, they were not left with many other activities other than wandering.

Xhiro is exactly that – a walk without a specific goal, a walk for the sake of walking and socializing. Some argue that aimless wandering predates the communist regime and has more to do with the human need for social networking.


Xhiro on Shengjin beach, Photo: Adria fun


Today, in times when technology and comfort keep us more and more confined within four walls, xhiro brings a breath of refreshment and reminds us of more “normal” times when we were – at least physically – closer to each other.

Therefore, if you ever find yourself in Albania, be sure to listen to the host’s advice, continue the tradition, and go for an evening xhiro.




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