UNESCO Za Krizen 2018 Procession Underway in Jelsa on Hvar

Total Croatia News

March 29, 2018 – A UNESCO procession, dating back more than 500 years, is once more underway through the night on Maundy Thursday on the island of Hvar. 

It is a part of island tradition and heritage that most tourists do not experience, but for local inhabitants, it is one of the most important events of the year.

Dating back more than 500 years, the ‘Za Krizen’ (literally ‘Behind the Cross’) procession has taken place every year on Maundy Thursday for half a millennia, despite the challenges of war, Communism and other deterrents (indeed, the procession was held in the Sinai Desert in the refugee camp of El Shatt in 1945, when thousands of Dalmatian civilians were evacuated).

The procession inscribed as intangible UNESCO heritage back in 2009, comprises six simultaneous processions, leaving at 22:00 from the churches of Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik, Svirce, Vrbanj and Vrboska, a procession where a barefoot cross bearer, followed by robed acolytes and hundreds of pilgrims, walk the 22km through the night on a route via the churches in the other five villages before returning to their starting point after a night of chanting and reflection, at around 07:00 in the morning on Good Friday.

TCN was on hand to watch the start of the Jelsa procession, which you can see in the video below.



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