Festivals & Events in Dubrovnik & the Dalmatian
Feast of St Blaise, Dubrovnik
On 3 February, the citizens of Dubrovnik commemorate the life and work of their patron saint and protector. The celebrations begin at 10am, with a mass held outside the cathedral. At 11:30am, reliquaries of St Blaise are carried in a procession around the city.
Spectacular Shrove Tuesday carnival processions take place in Split, where masked locals burn an effigy of Krnjo, a mythical figure representing everything bad that has happened to the city over the previous year. On the same day, in a celebration known as Poklad, the inhabitants of Lastovo commemorate a 15th century victory of the islanders over pirates; a puppet is chased, captured and burned at the stake.
Dubrovnik International Film Festival
This relatively new five-day event has screenings of a wide range of Croatian and international films.
Zadar Summer Theatre
This lively festival of theatre, music and dance was founded in 1995. Most of the productions take place in a variety of outdoor locations around the old city.
Musical Evenings in St Donat’s Church, Zadar
Every summer, St Donat’s Church and other ecclesiastical venues in Zadar come alive with a host of Baroque, Renaissance, medieval and chamber concerts.
For over 50 years, stages in historic venues, churches and the open air have filled the old city with theatre, dance and music from around the globe.
Performances of Shakespeare in the Lovrijenac Fortress sell out quickly.
Split Summer Festival
Opera, ballet, classical music, pop, and a diverse array of theatrical performances heighten the energy in Dalmatia’s largest city. Open-air productions held in Diocletian’s Palace are the highlight, with the staging of Verdi’s Aida in the Peristyle an enduring favourite.
Moreška, Korcula Town
This traditional 15th-century sword-dance, staged in Korcula Town on the Feast of St Theodore (29 July), portrays good and evil kings fighting for the affections of a beautiful maiden. Though the swords are wooden, the battles are spectacularly choreographed.
In July and August, summer festivals lasting anything from two weeks to two months fill the cultural calendars of many towns throughout Dalmatia, with dance, theatre and music gracing outdoor and indoor stages. Some of the liveliest festivals are held in Cavtat, Hvar Town, Makarska, Ston, Trogir and Pag.
Split Jazz Festival
This week-long festival runs during the city’s Summer Festival, bringing international jazz performers of the calibre of Diana Krall, Charlie Haden and Michael Brecker to the Dalmatian capital.