Never Eaten a Dormouse? Puhijada 2017, The Adriatic’s Most Unusual Festival?

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One of Croatia’s more unusual festivals takes place in the village of Dol on the island of Hvar, starting on August 7, 2017. How do you like your dormouse?

I must admit that I didn’t believe it at first when I was researching my guidebook for Hvar. People actually ate dormice on the island.

“Yes, but only in one village – Dol. It is part of the village tradition, and they are very proud of it. They even have a festival, and it is huge.”

I didn’t believe him for a minute, but there was indeed a festival called Puhijada (‘puh’ means dormouse), and so I decided to investigate. It was a very large party indeed, and locals confirmed that dormouse was indeed very much on the menu. But in order to get a bit, you had to go to the exchange office. 


The only currency accepted was the Superpuh (Superdormouse), which converted at the rate of one superpuh to five kunas. And for just 7 superpuhs, you could get the sandwich in the lead photo. I have to confess that the meat was very tasty, but it was very fiddly and there was not much of it. You would need about six to have a proper meal. 


Not the most enticing grill I have ever seen, but a culinary experience for sure. Dormouse is only eaten in three places in Croatia. It is eaten in the same way in the village of Dol on Brac, and up north in Gorski Kotor, where they make a dormouse stew. 

The festival itself attracts thousands on the final night – as many as Ultra Europe – mostly local, and it is a culmination of a week-long celebration of the village’s heritage and traditions. The week-long programme, which you can see below, takes in sport, art, wine, concerts and dormice. Hvar TV did a great report on the festival a few years ago, with Miss TCN Juniors looking after the live dormice and giving their impressions – see the video below.


If you would like to try dormouse outside the festival, it IS possible, but not only with preparation. The best place I have come across is Me and mrs Jones in Jelsa, who are very creative in the presentation, but you have to book at least 48 hours in advance, so that their dormouse supplier can deliver.  

Puhijada – A Festival of Gastronomy, Culture, Sports and Entertainment

Dol, 7th – 12th August, 2017


7th to the 12th August The Dol Open
Balote (Croatian Bowls) tournament on the Balote court in Dol, every afternoon

MONDAY 7th August at 21:00, in the St Anne’s Parish Church
– Exhibition of paintings entitled , “Ča znodu dica“ (“What Children Know”) with musical accompaniment by the D-ante group.

TUESDAY 8th August at 21:00, in the Dom kulture – House of Culture “Vir”
A lecture by dr. sc. Mladen Domazet – “Trebalo je samo izdržati- don Ivan Kuničić 1917. -1918.”
(It just needed to be endured – don Ivan Kuničić from 1917 to 1918)

WEDNESDAY 9th August at 21:00, in the Dom kulture – House of Culture “Vir”
– Presentation of the book “ Dobri naši zahodi“ (“Our Lovely Toilets”) by Damir Carić

THURSDAY 10th August at 21:00, at the Church of Our Lady of the Village
– The premiere of the play “Kako se živilo pri” (“How we lived in the past”), from the book of the same name by Zorislav Posinković. Presented by the Petar Hektorović amateur theatre (junior group).

FRIDAY 11th August at 20:00, at the sports ground next to St Anne’s Church
– The final tournaments of the “Dol Open” Balota (Croatian Bowls) competition. Afterwards a party organised by the football club N.K “Sloga” of Dol.

SATURDAY 12th August,
– in the late afternoon – Puh – Doormouse free climbing, the clowns Bumba and Šarenka
– 20:30 – a performance by the children’s kindergarten group “Sardelice”
– 21:00 – the presentation of the 13th edition of “Tartajun”(the village magazine)
– 21:30 – a performance by the Klapa group Priženca
– 22:30 – a performance by the Bravo band from Split
– Midnight – the band “Mjesni odbor” from Šolta entertains…

Puhijada – A Festival of Gastronomy, Culture, Sports and Entertainment


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