Hvar – Procession of ‘The Cross’

Hvar – Procession of ‘The Cross’ For five centuries the locals in Hvar have been celebrating Easter in a special way – with the procession of `The Cross` (Za Križen). This is a unique expression of worship and religious and cultural identity of the local population which is listed on UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage of the world. The ritual evolved from the procession that was held as a sign of repentance following a miracle when a small cross in the town of Hvar miraculously wept tears of blood in the midst of social turmoil on the island in 1510.

Processions start on the night from Holy Thursday to Good Friday simultaneously from six parish churches of Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik, Svirče, Vrbanj and Vrboska, in a clockwise direction so that during the eight hour procession the crosses never meet, which would, according to a folk belief, be a sign of major misfortune. The eight-hour procession, during which 22 kilometers are passed, is led by selected cross- bearers who, sometimes barefoot, wear a cross that can weigh up to 18 kilograms. Procession of ‘The Cross’ brings together a multitude of pilgrims from all over the island, but also from year to year, more and more visitors and tourists who spend Easter on this, longest and sunniest Croatian island. This year the procession will be held on 21 April.

Thanks to the mild climate, warm winters and pleasant summers, the luxurious Mediterranean vegetation, rich cultural and historical traditions, unique gastronomy, beautiful beaches, coves and crystal clear waters, the central Dalmatian island of Hvar has been listed in some international travel magazines among the ten most beautiful islands in the world.

Night life and architecture of the town of Hvar, boat trips to Paklinski Islands, the sandy beaches near Jelsa, a combination of ancient and modern in the old city, heavenly beaches under the pine forests of Zavala, exotic southern slopes of the island in the towns of Ivan Dolac, Sveta Nedjelja and Milna, the ambience of "Little Venice " in Vrboski, a ride through lavender fields near Gdinja, Zastražišće and Bogomolje and quiet hidden coves around Sućuraj, are only a fraction of the experience offered by Hvar.

The Tourist Board of Hvar
www.tzhvar.hr

The City of Hvar
www.hvar.hr

The Tourist Board of Jelsa Borough
www.tzjelsa.hr

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