5 Things Most Tourists Miss on Korčula

Total Croatia News

May 26, 2018 – Korcula is a beautiful island with plenty to see and do, but what are the things that most tourists miss?

Every guidebook tells you similar stories about Korcula, the Moreska sword dance being its highlight. What it does not reveal are some details known just to local people that have been passed on from a father to a son – let me be your guide through those lesser-known, but for my folks, important parts of our cultural heritage.

There is not much to add about Moreska if you have read any guidebook on Korcula. But only local people know that there is one interesting event that happens every year before the celebration of the patron saint of Korcula, St.Theodore: on St Theodore`s Eve both armies, “white“ and “black“,  go to collect a young girl – Bula, who will perform her dialogue for the first time on that festival. Her family organizes the celebration which, more or less, reminds you of someone`s wedding: a lot of food, wine, singing..and everyone is welcomed, even accidental tourists who don`t know what is going on but are always happy to join in since everyone is cheerful there and everything is free! On St Theodore`s Day Bula gets a ring after her performance and it is a big day for her and her family.

There have been two Moreska societies since the War for Independence in the 90s, mostly thanks to different political inclinations of the members of each. Tourists, of course, do not know whose Moreska dancing they are watching ..maybe they are just a bit confused when there are two performances, one after the other on St Theodor`s Day. But it`s all part of the folklore!


Then, there is a town waterpolo tournament that happens every August and is played among quarters of the town: Biline, Borak, Stari grad ( the Old town ) and Sveti Nikola ( St Nicholas ).  On those days even animosity can be aroused among people who belong to different quarters of Korcula..but eventually, all ends with a great party on the outdoor swimming pool. One could deduce all we do is partying.


On St Martin`s day, the patron saint of winemakers, and the evening before, children go from house to house with old, petroleum lanterns, singing an old song dedicated to that saint. Kids are treated with candies, pomegranates…but, they are the happiest when they are treated with some pocket money! If you do not give them anything or pretend you are not at home they would probably sing to you: Sve vam raslo sve vam cvalo i uvik vam bilo malo..meaning roughly: We hope you have a lot but are never happy with what you have! Quite a curse, right?!

Another curiosity you may not know: every village on the island, including the town of Korcula, has its own dialect. Even some words are used only by people of one village, not the others. Still, we understand each other perfectly, especially when we use our typical, Dalmatian sarcasm and irony in our conversations and disputes. Our sense of humour is based on that too so it`s not very easy for an outsider to understand it and to blend in. Nor is to become a real part of our local community, although we don`t like to admit that. I give credit to anyone who has come to live here and become a real, indigenous part of our community. If you succeed and pass some great tests to earn the right, you are guaranteed to have a great life with us!



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