The holiday season brings Old Dalmatian traditions back to life in Dubrovnik homes and in the Old Town with the opening of our Christmas Fair. This year it is being held at Luza Hall and many will be presenting traditional handmade holiday crafts. Tables will soon be covered with intricately designed festive table cloths, traditionally used for the holiday feasts. Small wooden decorations made with the simple tools of ancestors to hang from family Christmas trees will be sold. I have watched the skilled hands of the many artists who sit quietly and smile kindly as I complement their creativity. It is an honor to know these people who share traditional skills and customs with the community.
Small kiosks are also scattered around Gundulic Square. There homemade Christmas cookies and sweet local delicacies can be tasted and washed down by mulled Dalmatian wines. I very much enjoy wandering about to taste many favorites including Brustulani Mjenduli (sugar coated almonds), and traditional Dubrovnik Kontonjata (quince jelled concoction) as well as the light crunchy Hrostule (fritter) and many more treats prepared for the holiday season.
The fair will be opened from 03 December until 08 January with entertainment for all the generations including Christmas carols on the Jesuit Church steps. Professional ensembles, children’s choirs, dance troupes will enhance the season of Advent with performances.
The ambiance of the holiday is enhanced when homes sparkle with special lighting and greenery, when the tables are covered with festive tablecloths and decorations, when families gather for prayer and feast. It is very important that the old traditions are recognized to be of value and coming back to life in modern families and homes.