Friday, 15 April 2011

Easter holidays on Hvar



Tourists searching for Easter tradition may wish to consider a Croatian holiday on the island of Hvar, where celebrations have not changed for more than 500 years.

Highlights of the religious ritual include a number of processions which start simultaneously and may take in the island's immaculate beaches. The Procession “Following the Cross” is a very pious ceremony and an expression of the religious and cultural identity of the population of the central part of Hvar Island. It has been taking place for nearly five centuries uninterrupted. On the night from Maundy Thursday to Good Friday, the Procession passes through 6 villages on the island: Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik, Svirče, Vrbanj and Vrboska. At the same time, processions start from six parish churches with a cross-bearer ahead, wearing a heavy cross as a symbol of prayer or gratitude, as his own or family pledge. He is followed by a chosen suite in brotherhood tunics and numerous worshippers and pilgrims. They stop in front of churches and chapels in other villages where greeted by priests and return to their parish church before dawn. The people in the Procession pass 25 kilometres in 8 hours. It is prepared and conducted by brotherhoods, i.e. communities of Hvar believers whose history has been profoundly marked by the cross. The central part of the Procession is the Lamentations of the Virgin Mary, an octosyllabic Passion-related text dating from the 15th century, sang in a dialogue form by chosen singers - kantaduri.(www.min-kulture.hr)

This religious custom provides everyone around it with a unique spiritual experience. The Procession “Following the Cross” has been recently included on UNESCO’s list of intangible heritage.

For those looking for a spring sunshine break a holiday in Hvar will be an excellent option. Temperatures in Hvar during April will stay around 15-20C, giving more than enough sunshine to pick up a golden tan. Easter holidays in Hvar are very popular with holiday makers who soak up the sun on the beaches or explore the neighbouring islands.

Enjoy Easter holidays at one of Sunčani Hvar hotels and experience a unique celebration of Easter on the sunny Island of Hvar.

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