Why Does Nobody Get Married in Sibenik in the Romantic Month of May?

By 21 February 2020

February 22, 2020 - It is one of the most romantic months for weddings, so why does almost nobody in Sibenik get married in May? 

Whether we like weddings or not, the ones held in May are beautiful. Fabulous weather, fancy light clothes. Not too cold and not hot, but simply just right. Everything usually comes together perfectly in a May wedding. So why do they hardly exist in Šibenik?

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For as long as I can remember, my mother has always told me that there is no wedding held in May in Šibenik. Then I would ask her why, and she would simply tell what they told her it is a bit of bad luck to marry in May. It brings unhappiness, health problems, family feuds, simply bad luck. Throughout the generations, parents and grandparents have told their children about the golden rule - not to marry in May. Only some people say it is some legend that people told them and others simply shrug it off saying they told me so, so I am sticking with it.

So the story takes us back to 1647 when the plague was big in Šibenik. The plague probably came to Šibenik due trade relations on the Adriatic between countries and because of the Kandyan war. Before the plague, Šibenik was the most populated town in Dalmatia. But because of the plague, Šibenik lost eighty per cent of its population. Only ten out of 150 noble families survived. But behind the plague, there is also a legend. The citizens of Šibenik believed in vampires and witches back then, and they thought that one dead man was a vampire. Apparently, he would wake up at night and get out of the coffin and kill other people. One night a few „brave“ people came to the city cemetery, opened the coffin and they were ready to put a stake through his heart. But that is not the end of the story. Having opened the coffin, the citizens awoke the plague in the town. The wider population got sick and they died.

And there is also a legend to the story, which explains the cursed marriage if you get married in May. The story starts with a young noblewoman who helped the sick people with the plague. The noblewoman was in love with a poor man from the surrounding area. She was a great woman with a big heart and she wanted to help her citizens. So she went to the cathedral and promised and gave a vow to God that if he stopped the plague, she would become a nun. She wanted to save the few people that were left living in Šibenik. In the end, she did that. She gave up on her love for the people of Šibenik. In May she went to the monastery of St. Luce.

In the end, she didn't stay as a nun. The plague in town was healed, but her heart wasn't. She talked to the head nun, and the nun as a woman of understanding, released her from her obligation. Some people believe that it is bad luck to get married in May, but most people don't get married in May out of respect for a noble girl, who gave up on her love and happiness for Šibenik. Some people stick to the tradition nowadays, saying it is bad luck I don't want to risk it. Others say that it is a stupid tradition in which is stupid to believe. They say it is stupid to believe in superstitions and that May weddings are the most beautiful.

A local portal showed us that there were just eleven marriages in 2019 in May held in a church or city hall. In 2018 there were eight weddings and in 2017 eleven as well in 2019. The year 2016 holds the record, having fifteen marriages, who ignored superstitions and enjoyed the most important day in their lives in front of the family and friends.

Even if that information shows that there is progress in having a May wedding, some are just believing in tradition and customs that their family gave them. It will be a long time until you hear the regular ringing of wedding bells in May. But there is not only the legend and superstitions but the love for the town and sacrifice which young woman gave. So mostly due to that respect, people do not get married in May.

Want to know more about Šibenik? Here are 25 things to know.

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