Easter in Dalmatia


Spring is upon us, the season of rebirth, renewal and rejuvenation.  The sun is shining and buds have begun to appear on the trees as the flowers blossom.  The air is perfumed with the sweet fragrance of the hyacinths growing profusely in our neighbor’s yards.  The Stradun is bursting with locals strolling and greeting friends as they pause for a leisurely coffee at the outdoor cafes which have opened again after the extensive winter hibernation. 

Stradun cafe culture

Stradun cafe culture

Easter Sunday, is a time for ancient customs to be celebrated.  Hand woven palms adorn homes and the aroma of Pinca, the sweet Easter bread baking is in the air in anticipation of the Easter Sunday family luncheon. Hand painted eggs decorated with the precision of an artist creating a masterpiece are given to loved ones and the frequent phrase heard  is Sretan Uskrs (Happy Easter).

Eggs 2

Psanica is a decorated Croatian Easter egg originating from an ancient Slavic custom which dates back to pagan times.  The name is a derivative of the Croatian word which means writing. This year Krizevci, a town in Northern Croatia, presented the village of Orebic with a giant egg which was created by artists from the School of Naïve Art. This is an artistic technique often characterized by a childlike simplicity in its subject manner and the artists are thought to have very little training which is often untrue.  The egg has been painted depicting vintage traditional motives depicting scenes of Orebic which is known as the sea captains’ town.  I know it well because it is the birthplace of my mother, Tera Mrgudic Sosa, with her family tree traced back to 1642.  Sretan Uskrs

Orebic sailor

Orebic sea captain

Our Lady of Angels Church

Our Lady of Angels Church

Orebic national attire

Orebic national attire

Vintage sailing ship

Vintage sailing ship

Giant egg photos by Carol Saric

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14 thoughts on “Easter in Dalmatia

  1. Great photo of Orebic at the top! It took me a moment to realize where it was and then I saw some landmarks…so glad you took us there. You could write more about it and the area around it to help teach people who only visit Dubrovnik by cruise ship that there is so much more to experience.

    • Very soon I will write about Orebic located on the Peljesac peninsula. The town is very dear to me. How about those giant painted eggs, they are awesome.

  2. Sretan Uskrs!

    What an incredible gallery of eggs. It must be particularly special for you, given your family’s connection with the town. Here in Trogir, we haven’t seen many Easter decorations (nor in Split or Šibenik). I’m wondering if we missed some of the preparations leading up to Easter, or if it’s not so customary to decorate for the holiday.

    We’re headed to Dubrovnik tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to seeing the eggs at the Easter fair. Do you know of any other spots where we can catch glimpses of authentic spring traditions? I read that there’s a coastal wedding performance in Mrčevo on April 7th too.

  3. Happy Easter everyone!

    I recognized the cafe in the first photo from my vacation in Dubrovnik in late summer ’10!

  4. I so love this post … it has been years since I last saw or made pisanice … you know northern Croatia around Zagreb (where I am from) has a long tradition of making beautiful pisanice and naive art originated in northern Croatian villages too. Seeing people on the Stradun just makes me so homesick!

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