Feasts! We love feasts!
Zadar Travel Blog› entry 14 of 19 › view all entries
Dalmatians are known as being a species that loves to sing and party. And this is true. Doesn't need much of an occasion, just a simple gathering, a couple of glasses of wine (or not) , somebody starts a tune and we all fall in. I guess, people always like to bring up the "good old times", when everything was better. Well, in this case, it was. War has left something bad on our souls, that doesn't make it so easy anymore to just give into celebration. Our joy for life has been damaged, and that's a fact. But, we also don't give in that easily, and once we start singing we don't stop :)
Zadar has a few local feasts that take place during the summer season. The best one, in my opinion, is the "The Fullmoon Festival". No, no werwolfs coming out that night. Just a lot of humans. A lot. A lot! Did I mention, there are a lot of people coming? Well, there are a lot. It takes place on a night when the moon is full. It takes place on the Riva. The idea is to bring together people from all over the region to show their traditions. The fishermen from the islands tie their boats along the shore and prepare fish and mussels. The farmers from the hinterland bring cheese, smoked ham, figs, liquers and brandies. They come dressed in traditional clothing, bring souvenirs inspired by history and tradition. Bands are playing, folklore groups are dancing and singing on several stages along the Riva. The feast starts in the early evening hours and lasts all night. It has become so popular, that even people from all parts of Croatia come. Parts od the peninsula are being closed for traffic then, and don't try to find a parking space after 4 p.m. anywhere around it in a radius of 2 km.
"Zadar Snova" is different. It's a theater and concert festival, featuring artists from all over the world performing plays, dance and music. Shows take place all over the old town, also using the inner yards of the old houses as stages. Other art festivals are "Zadarsko Kazališno Ljeto" and "Kalelargart", featuring concerts and street performances. "The Musical Evenings in St. Donat" is a traditional festival of classic concerts. "Mitra Zonata" is a local feast at the Sea Organ. And every evening there's a live concert at the main city square. Every friday during July and August the old town celebratesa little local feast, the "Feštica", with Klapas (traditional dalmatian singing groups) singing in the streets and restaurants preparing food outside. At the end of August the big "Varoška Fešta" happens, the Town Feast, marking the end of summer.
There are various other local feasts, almost every village has one. They mostly take place during the first two weeks of August. At any rate, keep your eyes out for posters, or check in the Tourist Information Office at the main square.