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Easter in Croatia


Easter is celebrated with fervor in Catholic Croatia especially in Dalmatia. In some ways it is considered more religious and more serious than Christmas.


The Easter observances begin on Palm Sunday and continue throughout Holy Week. In many towns, there are ceremonies and processions every night.

In Korcula, for example, local religious brotherhoods organize the observances. Members of the associations don traditional costumes and sing medieval hymns.

There are reenactments of scenes from the Bible and a blessing of the city gates. The culmination of it all is the evening of Good Friday.

Many other Dalmatian islands --Hvar, Brac- celebrate Holy Week in similar fashion. In the interior of Croatia however, villagers build huge bonfires known as "krijes", "kres", or "vuzmenica".

Other places have revived the old Easter custom of shooting from an old-fashioned pistol called the "kubura".

Another custom is to create rattling noisemakers known as "klepetaljke" or "cegrtaljke". Each region has its own idea: on Krk, metal plates hang at the end of a board while other places decide to attach wheels and sprockets to boards and pull it to create the rattling sound.

Of course there are Easter eggs. At the end of Easter week, brightly painted eggs are given as gifts. Called "pisanice", you'll find red eggs with a white star in southern Croatia and eggs decorated with flowers, pines and geometrical motifs in other parts of the country.

Rather than an Easter-egg "hunt", in Croatia there's an Easter egg "fight". Everyone chooses an egg from a basket and hits it against their adversary's egg. The winner is the one who emerges with an intact egg.