"Following the Cross" in Jelsa

"Following the Cross" in Jelsa
„Za križen“
Heritage of UNESCO World Non-Material Cultural

5 days / 4 nights

Split – Jelsa – Pitve – Vrisnik – Svirče – Vrbanj – Vrbovska                                  

For five centuries, the inhabitants of Hvar have been celebrating Easter in a very special way, with the procession “Za Križen”, (Following the Cross). This is one of seven phenomena of Croatian cultural heritage recently put on the Heritage UNESCO World Non-Material Cultural List.

The traditional nighttime procession begins on the night from Thursday to Good Friday at exactly 22 o’clock from the six churches in the central part of the island, namely: Vrbanj, Vrboska, Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik and Svirce to the roundabout during the procession to 7 o’clock in the morning returned to its starting point after visiting all church and devotion to each of them, and that they never meet!

At the forefront of the procession, the cross-bearer, barefoot or in socks,  wears a cross covered with a transparent black veil. The cross-bearer (Križonoša)  has his assistants, accompilers, singers and singers who answers singing “Our Lady’s weeping”, carriers of “torches” (large candles) and “batištrada” (procession leader).  They are all dressed in tunics of white flesh of brotherhoods.

The official staff of the procession is joined by a multitude of believers from the whole island and guests on the island, all holding candles and crowns. Other locals and many guests are welcoming the procession from other places and with them in the church listen to singers and responders and participate in the prayers.

This unique ritual of particular piety and the expression of the religious and cultural identity of the inhabitants of the central part of the island of Hvar, which developed from the procession which was held as a sign of repentance, in the wake of social turmoil on the island of 1510., a small cross in the city of Hvar is marvelously flushed with bloody tears.

 

DAY 1: Thursday SPLIT – JELSA & PROCESSION “FOLLOWING THE CROSS”

Arrival to airport Split. Transfer to port Split and short sightseeing of city centre. Split is the second biggest city of Croatia. It was founded in the late third century, when the Roman emperor Diocletian built his palace here and ruled from it with the world, leaving to the town the heritage of breathtaking architecture. A thousand-seven-hundred-year old Diocletian’s palace is subject to the world cultural heritage protection. Afternoon embark the catamaran to town Jelsa . Accommodation in one of the hotel in the centre of town. Dinner at hotel and time for rest to be ready for tonight Procession “Following the Cross”.

At evening participating in the procession “On a clear night the crosses go by. They have been going by for centuries as a symbol of an on-going tradition and religion. They pass the same route and over the same hills. The magic and profound meaning of the Procession has not faded with time”.

The procession finale is in anticipation of cross-bearer on the square in front of the Church of St. Mary of the Assumption in Jelsa – the most eminent part of the procession in the early morning hours. After going to the church and celebrate the Mass with prayer and singing. After procession or the Mass walk back to hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 2: Friday JELSA – HVAR

Late breakfast at the hotel. Due the early morning arrival from procession, day at leisure and free time untill afternoon. Toward drive to city of Hvar. By arrive sightseeing of town Hvar.

Hvar is the sunniest and longest Croatian island, and town Hvar is the largest settlement on this island. Take a look of first public European theatre and renaissance Cathedral of St. Stephen. Walk up to the hill, 88 meters above town is situated Fortress “Espanjola” built in 16th century. From here whole town, together with Paklini island can be seen. At the end, sit in one of local restaurants and try one of traditional dish, such as lobster and red fish stew or sit for a coffee in one of cafe situated on Pjaca – the largest square in Dalmatia. Transfer back to hotel in Jelsa. Overnight and dinner at the hotel.

DAY 3: Saturday JELSA – PITVE – VRISNIK – SVIRČE – VRBANJ – VRBOVSKA

Breakfast at the hotel. Half day tour around island Hvar. Visit the surrounding places and parish churches participating in the procession accompanied by expert guides: PITVE, VRISNIK, SVIRČE, VRBANJ, VRBOSKA.

By returning visit the winery Tomic-Bastiana u Jelsi and tasting in the exclusive ambience that brings us back to the past time Free time. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

DAY 4: Sunday JELSA

Easter breakfast at the hotel. Going to the Easter mass. After day for relax and free time. Dinner and overnight at the hotel

DAY 5: Monday HVAR – SPLIT

Early breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to port and boarding at catamaran and toward travel to Split.

By arrive transfer to airport Split and flight back to home.

For rates & reservation please send an enquiry!