5. Carnival Hits the Streets of Cetina Region Next Month!

Daniela Rogulj

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February 12, 2019 – Sinj and the Cetina region have long been attentive to unique and interesting events, but their Carnival celebration certainly belongs to a separate category. 

This year, the Jubilee 5th Carnival will be held on March 2nd. Numerous Carnival (or ‘Mačkare) groups will have the opportunity to present themselves to the public in the same place – resulting in a lively, cheerful and noisy procession which speaks to a long and colourful tradition according to carefully and strictly established rules. The Carnival groups are the best connoisseurs and custodians of traditional customs in the region, and the fact that they are on the list of protected immaterial cultural goods of the Republic of Croatia is also testimony to their grandeur. 

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Željko Zrnčić

In the villages of Gljev, Han, Obrovac Sinjski, Bajagić and Gala, the Carnival groups have a unique and original way of displaying ancient customs, complete with the sounds of bells and other accompanying rituals. In the municipality of Otok, each hamlet has its own Carnival group (Jelašce, Priblaće, Živinice, Gala, Ruda, Udovičići, and occasionally groups from Glavičica-Priblaće, Ovrlje and Koritā), while in the municipality of Trilj, you can find Carnival groups from the villages of Grab, Jabuka, Košute, Vedrine, Vrpolje, Čačvina and Velić. 

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Nikola Belančić

The layout of the Carnival parade is based on traditional rules, irrespective of any changes, with only men allowed to participate. 

The most attractive and impressive part of the procession is the ‘didi’ (old men), who carry the fleece of sheep on their heads, standing tall at a height of up to 1.5 meters, with bells around their waist. They are dressed in old clothes with colorful fringes sewn on. The ‘didi’ symbolize the ritual battle of good spirits in winter, and chase them away by making noise and jumping.


The ‘Didi’ from Kamešnica will observe the customs and rich traditions beyond the borders of Croatia. Namely, on February 16 and 17, they will be guests of the 24th edition of the carnival “Su Carrasegare Antigu Samughesu” in the city of Samugheo, in the province of Oristano, Sardinia. This important visit is the result of seven-year of cooperation between the Alka Knights Society Sinj and the members of Sa Sartiglia from Oristano, who happily visit each other during the Alka celebration and Sartiglia, one of the last Medieval games of chivalry with knights and horses in Mediterranean area. With the valuable support of Don Josip Dukić, this opportunity was realized. 

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Željko Zrnčić

An exceptionally valuable publication “Didi from Kamešnica” was promoted on January 31 in the Alka courtyard in Sinj. In the issue of the Croatian Photo Alliance – youth for youth – a visually appealing publication is the result of a series of photography collections for children and youth held from 2014 to 2018 in cooperation with the Carnival Association Didi from Kamešnica. With the promotion of the publication, the exhibition of photographs of the same name was opened, as well as an exhibition of Carnival masks by the elementary school students Ivan Mažuranić from Obrovac Sinjski. The main goal of familiarizing the children with the culture and customs has been completely fulfilled – and the heritage in the Cetina region lives through all generations.

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Nikola Belančić

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