Saturday, 3 April 2021

Sinj Tourist Board Reminds Us of Easter Traditions

April 3, 2021 - The Tourist Board of Sinj wants to help us feel festive for this Easter season, so they have prepared an extraordinary video and photo material to celebrate the Easter traditions which have lived on in the families of the region.

The biggest Christian holiday is again celebrated under the new circumstances: separated, but together, cautious, but comforted by the light of the resurrection, which will make the darkness everywhere disappear. The Tourist board regrets that their traditional Easter traditions, including breakfast in the open had to be cancelled again this year, however, they found a way to celebrate.

Local groups dedicated to preserving the tradition, KUD Cetina and the Association for the preservation of the heritage of the Cetina region, as well as the Milardović family, prepared some of the most popular holiday recipes to be presented online.


Photo by Monika Vrgoč


On Holy Thursday, lamb and cabbage are traditionally eaten. On Good Friday, traditionally the fast is observed, and cod, trout and frog are prepared. On Easter itself, the traditionally prepared meals are taken to the church to be blessed. The team brings you some recipes for those, published in one of the seminal books by Dika Marjanović – Radica, “Dalmatian Cooking”.

Sinj arambaši, a speciality protected by UNESCO is always on the table for all holidays, and you can read more about them here.

Local pogača (similar to Italian focaccia) is made as a dessert, with sugar, lemon rind and home-made butter – and is characterised by a lot of kneading it needs to be perfect (the recipe calls for a whole hour of TLC!).


Photo by Monika Vrgoč

Sinj Ravioli (spelt locally rafioli) are also a dessert, and the dough is filled with ground almonds and chocolate, along with some maraschino liqueur.

Sinj Tourist Board wants us to believe that nothing has really changed, in its core, and that Easter continues to be the victory of faith and love, life over death and light over the darkness.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Nine Earthquakes in the Adriatic Sea in Last 56 Hours

March 30, 2021 - Nine earthquakes in the Adriatic Sea were recorded in the last 56 hours, felt by citizens from Split to Sinj. 

24 Sata reports that on Monday, March 30, shortly after 10 pm, residents in the wider Split area felt the ground shake. Rattled citizens reported that they felt an earthquake in Split, Kaštela, Glavice, and Sinj

The EMSC reported that the earthquake was 3.1-magnitude on the Richter scale and that the epicenter was 52 kilometers from Vela Luka. And just before it there was a 2.9-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter 30 kilometers from Komiža on Vis.


"There was a rumble, it shook briefly but strongly," said one witness. "It rumbled for 6-7 seconds and shook briefly," said another. "I was really scared, it shook good," read another. Split singer Marijan Ban even took to Twitter to confirm that he felt the quake, too.


The first report of the earthquake arrived at 10:20 pm from Kaštel Sućurac. It was the ninth earthquake in the Adriatic Sea in the last 56 hours, the EMSC reported.

A bit later, seismologists from the Seismological Service announced that at 22:17 they recorded an earthquake with an epicenter 3 km south-southeast of Maovici near Vrlika, meaning that the Split area was shaken by three earthquakes just a few minutes apart!


Over the last few days, several slightly stronger earthquakes have been recorded in the Adriatic Sea, in the waters nea Split. The strongest so far was 5.5-magnitude on the Richter scale.

None of these earthquakes have been strong enough to cause any damage.

The EMSC was established in 1975 on the European Seismological Commission's recommendation, given that the Euro-Mediterranean region showed potentially dangerous seismic activity. It is headquartered in Bruyères le Châtel, a municipality on the southern outskirts of Paris, and is a non-profit NGO.

EMSC uses a unique earthquake detection system thanks to the collaborative work from eyewitnesses and data collection from seismic institutes provided by 85 institutes as members from 56 different countries, thus giving users real-time earthquake information for seismic events. 

To read more about news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Sunday, 28 February 2021

PHOTOS: Eco Action to Clean Illegal Landfills on Our Lady of Sinj Trail

February 28, 2021 - The Sinj Tourist Board helped organized a weekend eco-action to clean up the illegal landfills on the Our Lady of Sinj trail! 

Organized by the City of Sinj, the Sinj Tourist Board, and members of BK Vlaji, PD Svilaja, NOPD Koćari, HGSS station Split, Adventure Sports Club Cetina adventure, PD Sv. Jakov Bitelić and in cooperation with Čistoća Cetinska Krajina, Hrvatske ceste Split, and the support of the Split-Dalmatia County, an ecological action of cleaning illegal landfills on part of the Our Lady of Sinj Trail in the area of Kukuzovac was successfully carried out.


A second ecological action was held after cleaning and arranging 14 illegal landfills in the area of Hrvace and Sinj in the town of Zelovo. 

Namely, Saturday's environmental action cleaned up illegal landfills located on the Our Lady of Sinj Trail in the area of Sinj (Kukuzovac). Recall that the Our Lady of Sinj project (completed in 2015) arranged a 148 km long pilgrimage path that connects the Marian shrines from Solin to Our Lady of Sinj and further towards the shrine on Šćit (Prozor - Rama in BiH).



Unfortunately, parts of the trail have been devastated as well as the accompanying infrastructure. Therefore, last year, Split-Dalmatia County initiated a project to revitalize the Our Lady of Sinj trail to repair the destroyed infrastructure and develop and implement a marketing plan. The revitalization project will soon be implemented in stages.


Respecting all valid epidemiological measures, this action was attended by numerous volunteers and nature lovers, members of local mountaineering associations: PD Svilaja, NOPD Koćari, PD Sv. Jakov, members of the Cycling Club Vlaji - Sinj, the Adventure Sports Club Cetina adventure, and several pilgrims from Split who regularly make pilgrimages along the Our Lady of Sinj trail. The action was attended by members of HGSS stations Split, Čistoća Cetinska Krajina, and County Roads Split, without whose employees and mechanization, this action would not be feasible.

This action and the previous one certainly want to contribute to the development of environmental awareness and appeal to responsibility for Sinj's natural and cultural heritage.

The organizers thank everyone who selflessly took their time and helped in this environmental action.

All photos by Monika Vrgoc

To read more about Inland Dalmatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Didi s Kamesnice and More Carnival Customs from the Dalmatian Hinterland

February 13, 2021 – Sinj and the Cetina region have long attracted attention with unique and exciting events. One of them is certainly their well-known masquerade festival with 'Didi s Kamesnice', masquerade group from the village of Gljev in the Dalmatian hinterland.

Cetina Region's Masquerade Festival should have been held for the seventh time this year, as well as the centuries-old gatherings of masquerade groups in the Podkamešnica villages, which were supposed to precede the festival and the usual final carnival events. However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it was all postponed for the next year.


Millennial photo of the Sinj region masquerades - DIDI / Šime Strikoman

At the Festival, numerous masquerade groups present themselves to the general public in one place. The result is a lively, cheerful, colorful, and noisy procession that maintains a long tradition, according to carefully and strictly established rules.

Croatian protected intangible heritage

Masquerades are the best bearers and guardians of carnival customs in the Cetina region. After the Holy Three Kings' feast on January 6, they set out on visits to villages and hamlets. They are even included on the list of protected intangible cultural goods of the Republic of Croatia, which testifies how precious they are.

Podkamešnička villages are villages at the foot of Kamešnica mountain located on Croatia's border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, near Sinj in the Dalmatian hinterland.

In the villages of Gljev, Han, Obrovac Sinjski, Bajagić, and Gala, masquerade processions are a unique and original way of depicting ancient customs interwoven with the sound of masquerade bells and other accompanying rituals.


Masquerade procession in Obrovac Sinjski / Monika Vrgoč

In the municipality of Otok, each hamlet has its own masquerade group (Jelašce, Priblaće, Živinice, Gala, Ruda, Udovičići, and occasionally there are groups Glavičica-Priblaće, Strana with masquerades from Ovrlje and Korita). In the town of Trilj, masquerade processions take place in the villages of Grab, Jabuka, Košute, Vedrine, Vrpolje, Čačvina, and Velić.


Masquerade procession in Otok / Monika Vrgoč


Masquerade procession in Vrpolje / Monika Vrgoč

Driving away winter and bad spirits

The carnival procession's schedule is based on traditional rules, not subject to any changes, and only men participate in it. At the head is a group of white masquerades and wedding guests, then a group of comedies, and finally, with a certain distance, black masquerades.

The wedding party, which symbolizes the end of winter and spring arrival, was once led by the first grandfather (hrv. dida) and nowadays by the flag bearer (hrv. barjaktar).


Gljev / Monika Vrgoč

The masculine, pregnant bride, accompanied by a groomsman, is looking for the groom, which is the procession's main "task."

There are also married women, girls, and other wedding characters dressed in formal attire (folk costume).

Turk commands the masquerades, taking care not to mix white and black wedding guests, who must never be in the same place at the same time. The Turk and the aunt's characters are associated with the long presence of the Ottomans in this area.


Black wedding guests / Monika Vrgoč

Behind the wedding are comedies, a masquerade group that criticizes current social and political topics without sparing criticism.

Grandparents lead black weddings. They are bearers of the fertility cult who, by simulating sexual intercourse, invoke a better and more abundant annual harvest, another indispensable ritual element.


Grandparents in Gljev / Monika Vrgoč

There are also mourners in the procession, mourning widows who shout funny and comic slogans.

The most attractive and impressive part of the procession are the imposing "didi." They wear sheep's wool up to 1.5 m high on their heads and bells around their waists. They are dressed in old clothes sewn with colorful fringes.

They embody the age-old ritual struggle of good spirits with winter, which they drive away with noise and jumping. With the loud ringing of bells, they cast spells from cattle, which, along with fertility and spring arrival, testifies the most important preoccupations of our ancestors.


Monika Vrgoč


Monika Vrgoč


Ivana Pavičić


Nikola Belančić

Rich and inspiring carnival tradition

This long tradition of carnival customs, which preserves local identity, is nurtured and promoted by the association "Didi from Kamešnica" from the village of Gljev.


The Cetina region's carnival festival seeks to popularize the rich tradition of carnival customs, unique in Europe. Although carnival customs with similar themes exist in other parts of Croatia and Europe, they always embody the ritual struggle of good spirits with winter.

Therefore, "Didi" are welcome guests at festivals throughout Croatia and Europe and an inspiring motive for numerous scientific research, exhibitions, and lectures on the topic of intangible heritage. The famous magazine National Geographic brings the unique "Didi s Kamešnice" on one of its covers.

All photos © Sinj Tourist Board

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Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Sinj Tourist Board Presents New Brochure in Our Lady of Sinj's Honor

February 2, 2021 -The Sinj Tourist Board is proud to present a new brochure about the church and the Miraculous Lady of Sinj.

The new edition of the brochure, based on the previous two editions from 1998 and 2008, with the original text by Fr. Božo Vuleta, attracts attention with its unique design signed by esteemed and award-winning local designer Boris Ljubičić, a native of Sinj. The priests of the sanctuary and the designer himself took part in bringing this brochure to life. Selected photographs perfectly complement the text.


The themes of the new publication include the history of the Franciscans' arrival in this area, centuries of struggle for freedom, sketches of tireless construction, the literal - religious buildings that we know and admire today, and the spiritual - the creation of a community that is the heart of Sinj and Cetina region, but also much wider, like the Marian families; unwavering devotion to the Miraculous Lady of Sinj, artistic and spiritual uniqueness of the church and sanctuary, educational activities of the friars of Sinj, and the unbreakable connection of the Alka and Our Lady. 

The brochure was printed in 3,000 copies, and by the end of March, in addition to the Croatian version, there should be translations in German and English.

Sunday, 31 January 2021

PHOTOS: Environmental Cleanup of Illegal Landfills in Sinj Area

January 31, 2021 - The speleological section of the Sv. Jakov - Bitelić Mountaineering Society, members of HGSS, mountaineering associations, and adventure clubs, in cooperation with the City of Sinj, the Municipality of Hrvace, local and county utilities, and the support of the Sinj Tourist Board, successfully carried out an environmental cleanup of illegal landfills in Sinj (Zelovo) and the municipality of Hrvace.


At the initiative of the members of the speleological section of the Sv. Jakov - Bitelić Mountaineering Society, an ecological action of cleaning and fixing up 14 illegal landfills in the area of the municipality of Hrvace and the village of Zelovo in Sinj, was proposed. Namely, along the county road Hrvace-Zelovo ("old road"), along which several bicycle and pedestrian paths have been marked (through the Medpaths project), there are numerous illegal landfills where irresponsible individuals have disposed of large quantities of various waste for years. These are quantities that greatly endanger the existing infrastructure (Zelovski most), the natural environment, and aesthetically damage the area, which is increasingly used by many recreationists and tourists who stay in the area.



Respecting all valid epidemiological measures, this action was attended by numerous volunteers, nature lovers, members of local mountaineering associations: PD Sv. Jakov - Bitelić, PD Svilaja, NOPD Koćari, members of the Cycling Club Vlaji - Sinj and Cetina adventure - Club of Adventure Sports. The action was attended by members of HGSS station Split, members of DVD Sinj, Croatian Forests, and institutions without whose help this action would not be feasible: County Roads Split, County Road Administration, Cleanliness of Cetina region, and Water supply and drainage of Cetina region.




This action certainly wanted to contribute to environmental awareness and appeal to responsibility for the natural heritage.

The organizers would like to thank everyone who selflessly helped in this extremely demanding environmental action, with the announcement of a similar action soon.

All photos by Nikica Ugrin, Stanka Milošević, and Moniko Vrgoč. 

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Sinj Museum Night: Fully Virtual Program Announced

January 28, 2021 - This year's Sinj Museum Night event will be held on Friday, January 29!

The program at the Sinjska Alka Museum, which will be available from 6 to 11 pm, will be completely virtual. During its duration, two video games and a quiz will be promoted, a virtual walk around the Museum will be organized, as well as a quiz prize game, in which the winner will be chosen from those who answer most questions.

The information will be posted via Instagram and Facebook.

Museum Night Program 2021

The virtual game 'In the middle' is a simulation of the Alka competition. The player rides a horse and tries to hit "in the middle" and collect as many points as possible.

More info HERE

Battle of 1715 is a strategic game for several players, one of whom is on the side of the Ottomans, and the other on the side of Alkars. Through clever strategy, players try to incapacitate the enemy or conquer the Fortress.

More info HERE

Koliko punata? is an online quiz in which players can test their knowledge of the history and culture related to the Sinjska Alka with friends, acquaintances, and others on the Internet!

More info HERE

Virtual walk - On the website, with a large number of photos and information about Sinjska Alka, the Alka Knights Society Sinj and the Sinjska Museum, you can take a virtual walk through the Museum.

More info HERE

To read moe about Inland Dalmatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.  


Monday, 21 December 2020

VIDEO: Unique Christmas Tree Decorated Inside Pit on Vrdovo

December 21, 2020 - Organized by members of the Speleo section of the Sv. Jakov Mountaineering Society from Bitelić, on Saturday, December 19, a unique Christmas tree was decorated inside a pit on Vrdovo, about 30 meters deep.

The Dinaric area is full of sinkholes, hidden pits, and caves, which, unfortunately, are often targeted by irresponsible individuals. Instead of serving a natural purpose, they are often turned into illegal landfills of various types of waste. However, the speleological section PD Sv. Jakov, in cooperation with numerous colleagues from all over Croatia, organized several ecological actions to clean the pits throughout the year to preserve them.

MV (73).JPG

This seemingly unusual year has prevented the organization from numerous cultural and sporting events and competitions, but as we find ourselves in anticipation of Christmas, the happiest Catholic holiday, members of the speleological section of Sv. Jakov contributed to this year's Christmas mood in a truly unique way.

MV (80).JPG 

Namely, the members decorated a Christmas tree and recorded a video inside the pit, about 30 meters deep, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy and successful New Year.

Friday, 4 December 2020

An Advent Message from the Sinj Tourist Board

December 4, 2020 - An Advent message from the Sinj Tourist Board. 

On Sunday we lit the first Advent candle, the symbolic meaning of Hope, eyes fixed on the stable of Bethlehem and open hearts for the second coming of the Savior. It is the wondrous symbolism of the circle of the Advent wreath, which has neither beginning nor end, and the candle, the little flame of the strong light of the world that breaks our darkness.

Hope is what we have never needed so much in these uncertain times where there is a global threat to health and life as we know it. The unwavering certainty of Christmas joy truly instills hope that humanity will overcome this obstacle as well, but also learn a lesson about true values.

Indeed, without the glitter of the decorated streets, without the delicious fare of Advent houses, without social networks overloaded with selfies - what’s left? The only thing left is love and togetherness that will overcome all challenges.

Perhaps this temporary alienation (yes, this too will pass!) reminds us of some, not so ancient times, and the traditional customs of this magical holiday period full of anticipation. Why not revive them and pass them on to younger generations, as they brought our ancestors so much sincere joy and fulfillment?

Monika Vrgoč - Sinj  (410).jpg

Monika Vrgoc

Since ancient times, the people have especially loved the celebrations of two dear saints, St. Nicholas and St. Lucia. According to legend, St. Nicholas provided a dowry to the daughters of a poor nobleman by secretly inserting bags of gold coins through the window. Today, good children are happy to wait for him, while the wicked are afraid of his companion, Krampus. Let’s not forget that once upon a time, children rejoiced in small sweets or rare fruits with the same zeal as today’s most expensive toy or the latest smart gadget.

St. Lucia, the patroness of sight, eyes, and female handicrafts, also gifted children. Some interesting customs are associated with her holiday. In addition to the traditional sowing of wheat to decorate the Christmas table and candles, symbols of prosperity and fertility, our ancestors used to write down the weather for 12 days until Christmas and thus monitor what the weather will be like in each month next year. There was also superstition - girls would write the names of young men on eleven pieces of paper and leave one blank. Every day until Christmas, they would pull out a piece of paper - if the last one was left blank - they would not get married!

Ditinjce, Materice, and Očići are beautiful old customs related to the three weeks before Christmas.

For Ditinjci, older people ask their children to give them fruit as a ransom, and on the second Sunday before Christmas, Materice is held. Then, the men ask for a gift from the women, and the mothers give sweets and fruit to the children, who recite in unison:

"Valjen Isus, gazdarice,

čestitan ti Materice.

Došao sam preko mora

da mi dadeš koji ora'.

Potrala me teška muka

da mi dadeš česam luka.

Natrala me teška zima

da mi dadeš čašu vina.

Natrala me ljuta muka

da mi dadeš i jabuka."

A week after Materice, Očići is celebrated, and children would say similar things to fathers as they did to mothers the week before. They would also go from house to house, congratulating all the other men among the relatives and neighbors, and greet them:

"Faljen Isus, očići, božićno je vrime,

mi smo došli sada tražit’ vaše otkupljenje.

Pođite na tavan, donesite mese,

ako nije suvo, otvorite kese.

Ako ništa nema, višanje se sprema!

Svim očevima neka su sritni Očići!"

In giving and spiritual communion, Christmas Eve would come, the day before Christmas itself. The word 'badnjak' (Christmas Eve) is a legacy of the Old Church Slavonic language, and both possible meanings are very beautiful and significant: either from the verb bdjeti or from razbadariti se - to wake up! Let's watch and wake up! On this day, the people traditionally fast, prepare food for a rich Christmas feast and decorate homes, barns, and gardens with herbs. It was most often adorned with ivy, olive, and laurel branches. The Christmas tree was once adorned with candles (symbols of hope and divinity), walnuts painted in silver or gold, hazelnuts, apples, figs, decorative paper, and more.


In the Cetina region, it was customary for the host to take a bowl of blessed water to sprinkle around the house, in the barn: on sheep, horses, and cattle. The children would decorate the tree, the women would prepare bakalar. The preparation of pogača was common and for this region it was typically unleavened garlic pogača. In the evening, the host would bring straw into the house and spread it on the floor while the Lord's Prayer was said, and then three Christmas trees (a tree with a carved cross, a symbol of the Holy Trinity) would be brought in with the words "Welcome Christmas Eve and the Holy Birth!"

Two Christmas trees would then be ordered, and the third would be left for the New Year. A Christmas candle pressed into a bowl with grain was lit by the flame of Christmas Eve. After dinner, everyone would toast with wine and take a sip from a wooden mug. Usually, the host would then dip the bread into the wine and extinguish the candle with it while the others prayed and said, "Bring grain, bear wine."

It is believed that the first to die is the one who's candle smoke went out first. In a cheerful and good mood, the whole family would go until midnight. The straw brought in on Christmas Eve would be brought out by the hostess on the feast of John the Baptist and sprinkled in the fields and gardens, and then the ashes from the hearth were collected because it was believed to be holy and would protect from evil.

Monika Vrgoč-zvonik.JPG

Monika Vrgoc

We may be deprived of many traditional Christmas concerts, fairs, and other tourist program activities, but it allows us to dedicate ourselves to humanitarian and educational actions; give a helping hand to the less fortunate, opening our hearts and giving warmth and comfort when anxieties overwhelm us.

In the power and flame of the remaining Advent candles - the second Sunday candle of reconciliation or Bethlehem - brings peace, the third pastoral - celebrates joy and happiness, and the fourth candle, the candle of angels, brings love.

And when we can again celebrate side by side, face to face, we will joyfully repeat the words of St. Paul: "Maranatha!", "The Lord has come!"

To read more about Sinj and Inland Dalmatia, follow TCN's dedicated travel page.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Take a Virtual Walk through Our Lady of Sinj Sanctuary and Sinj Town

November 17, 2020 - The Sinj Tourist Board, in cooperation with the City of Sinj, the Our Lady of Sinj Sanctuary, and the Cogitolab tourist agency, has successfully completed the first phase of a virtual walk through the city of Sinj and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sinj.

Faced with a global pandemic, due to which we all have limited movements, and new market conditions and modalities, in mid-May, the Sinj Tourist Board launched the Virtual Sinj project.

In addition to the existing virtual tools, this project tries to bring the entire offer of the city (its sights, rich cultural and historical heritage) closer to interested visitors and encourages future visits to Sinj. The virtual walk was prepared and designed by members of the experienced team of the Cogitolab agency in cooperation with the priests of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sinj. They provided them with the necessary conditions and helped create content for many pilgrims to the largest southern Croatian Marian shrine.

Namely, every year during the novena to Our Lady of Sinj, there are several pilgrims that travel to the Sanctuary. They also visit other sights in Sinj.

Therefore, the Sinj Tourist Board decided to bring them closer in this form, in accordance with the goal of the Cogitolab agency: connecting and enabling a quick and easy overview of large Croatian Marian shrines, from Marija Bistrica in the north to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sinj in southern Croatia.

You can experience Sinj virtually at

The Sinj Tourist Board thanks everyone who helped them in creating the Virtual Walk through the city of Sinj.

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