Tuesday, 29 June 2021

7th Horse Caravan in Sinj - Summer '95 (PHOTOS)

June 29, 2021 - Organized by the Association of Split-Dalmatia County Homeland War Juvenile Volunteers, with the support of Split-Dalmatia County, Ministry of Croatian Veterans, Sinj Tourist Board, City of Sinj, and Hrvace Municipality, the 7th Horse Caravan - Summer '95 was held on June 26.

In memory of the significant liberation military-police operation of the Croatian Army in the Summer of '95, the 7th Horse Caravan - Summer '95 was held on Saturday, June 26.

The caravan, in which over 30 participants took part, moved across Sinjsko polje towards the Cetina river, then to Vojskova in Hrvatačko polje and over the bridge on Panj to Bitelić, Vučipolje, Zasiok and finally to the BZ Patriot training ground in Dabar. The entire route passed through important historical sites along which nature has richly spread its beauties.


The caravan was designed so that the entire route was joined by horsemen from the settlement through which the procession was moving. This symbolically represented the community from the military police operation Summer of '95 and Croatian veterans throughout the Homeland War.


Representatives of numerous associations, equestrian clubs, and family farms were present at this caravan. The caravan was led by flag bearers who, in addition to the state flag, carried the flags of the Croatian Army Guards Brigades and the flags of several associations from the Homeland War.

The organizer of the 7th Horse Caravan, the Association of Minor Volunteers of the Homeland War of Split-Dalmatia County, is extremely satisfied with the response and the number of registered participants.

The seventh Caravan took place following the current epidemiological measures.

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

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

A New Look at Sinj's World in Colors this Month!

June 22, 2021 -  The five-day photo workshop World in Colors is being held for the second time in the city of Sinj, co-organized by Foto Hrvatska and the Sinj Tourist Board, and with the support of the City of Sinj and the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board.

"We invite everyone interested to a challenge and a new look at the known and the unknown through a photographic lens. After over 130 successful and extremely well-attended guest appearances in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, this year's photo workshop in Sinj will be held from 24 to 28 June 2021," announced the Sinj Tourist Board. 

Photo socializing is free for participants and is intended for people over 10 years of age.

"Join us in the search for the most interesting and unusual motifs and take part in creating unforgettable visual magic. After the photo workshop, we will make a special exhibition of the selected photos," add TZ Sinj.

Registrations are mandatory by calling Sanja Grgić Ćurić (091 5742343), and the first meeting is on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at 5:00 pm in front of the Tourist Board office (Alkarski dvori).

The photo workshop will be held in accordance with all valid and recommended epidemiological measures.

For more about Inland Dalmatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

National Prosciutto Fair in Sinj Returns on June 4 and 5!

June 2, 2021 - The National Prosciutto Fair in Sinj returns on June 4 and 5! 

The National Prosciutto and Cured Meats Fair with International Participation in Sinj promotes the traditional way of producing cured meat products in cooperation with the new standards. Thanks to the constant engagement of all associates, manufacturers, institutions, and experts, the fair is being held for the sixteenth year in a row.

This year's National Prosciutto Fair sponsors are the Ministry of Agriculture, with co-organizers the City of Sinj and Split-Dalmatia County.


In recent years, the National Prosciutto Fair in Sinj was held in March or April and took on an international character due to the participation of exhibitors from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, and Italy. The number of exhibitors ranges around 70 (assuming from previous years) with several thousand visitors. The exhibition part of the Fair is planned for the outer part of the Alkar Hotel, where, in addition to cured meat products, premium cheese, wines, and olive oil will be exhibited, as well as traditional useful products produced in rural Dalmatia, Lika and Slavonia, and from the area of islands in Split-Dalmatia County. The grand opening, workshops, and expert evaluation are planned for the interior of the Alkar Hotel in compliance with all prescribed epidemiological measures. 

Producers of prosciutto, cured meat, and other autochthonous products from Croatia, the regional meat industry, producers' associations, family farms engaged in pig breeding and prosciutto production, and representatives of the tourism sector are expected to participate in the Fair this year, in compliance with all epidemiological measures. and caterers.


They plan to evaluate the quality and specificity of prosciutto from individual producers on June 4, 2021.

Professional quality assessment of prosciutto, as before, will be performed based on the "Ordinance on the quality assessment of prosciutto." The evaluation of the quality of prosciutto is public in the presence of members of the expert committee and the media. The products of the Fair's participants will be evaluated.


As in previous years, in addition to the exhibition part of the fair, there are plans to organize professional-educational panels where producers and visitors could be informed about topics related to financing through tenders and programs of Rural Development, which finances investment in small and large farms, i.e., economic entities engaged in the production and processing of indigenous products, such as Dalmatian prosciutto. In addition, they will look at the protection of indigenous products and quality labels, the introduction of standards, models of association, trends, opportunities for cooperation, new opportunities for young people, and other programs encouraged and funded by the government and other institutions.


Day 1 - June 4, 2021, FRIDAY
08:30 -11: 00 Panel workshop - Sensory analytics - professional evaluation
09:00 ARRIVAL OF EXHIBITORS / Exhibition of prosciutto and cured meat products / Presentation of cheese, Presentation of indigenous food products and wines
11:00 Cultural and artistic program of the Fair
12:00 Tour of exhibitors, press statements, and tastings
As part of the Fair, round tables, lectures, and presentations will be organized with the following topics:

Presentation of the program: Government and other institutions, associations and chambers, banks, development programs of the Split-Dalmatia County, development programs of the city of Sinj, Promotion of Quality Labels - "Croatian Quality" and "Originally Croatian" - HGK - Split County Chamber

12:45 News in 2021 from the Rural Development Program - Towards sub-measure 6.3.1- "support for the development of small farms."

14:00 Round table - Models of entrepreneurship development (youth, women, beginners),
Presentation of traditional products, Cultural and artistic program
Promotion of products with the label "Croatian island product"
- Cultural and entertainment program for visitors and exhibitors

Day 2 - June 5, 2021, SATURDAY
10:00 Workshop - training for young people in the field of agriculture, tourism, and entrepreneurship
News in 2021 from the Rural Development Program
Self-employment programs
Gastronomy (traditional products - In Zemane)
Clusters as a model of association - examples of good practice,
Sensory analytics: Importance of prosciutto quality assessment
-13: 00 Announcement of competition results
Winner announcement

For more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Virtual Walk along Our Lady of Sinj Trail (PHOTOS)

May 26, 2021 - The tourist boards of Sinj, Solin, and the municipalities of Klis and Dugopolje, in cooperation with Split-Dalmatia County, the Shrine of Our Lady of Sinj, and the tourist agency Cogitolab, are beginning the first phase of a virtual Our Lady of Sinj Trail and a new website www.stazagospisinjskoj.hr.

After last year's announcement that the Our Lady of Sinj project would be revitalized, initiated by Split-Dalmatia County in cooperation with the Shrine of Our Miraculous Lady of Sinj in Sinj, HGSS Split branch, Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, Sinj and Solin, Dicmo, Dugopolje and Klis municipalities, the Tourist Boards of Sinj and Solin and the municipalities of Dugopolje and Klis, the project of renovation and upgrade of the Our Lady of Sinj Trail is currently being implemented through the creation of a Virtual Walk and the creation of a new website.


Željko Zrnčić

The Our Lady of Sinj Trail stretches on the Solin - Sinj - Livno - Tomislavgrad - Rama route and is 148 kilometers long. It is a pilgrimage route that has been used for centuries to walk from several directions to the largest Marian shrine in southern Croatia. The Our Lady of Sinj Trail project has been approved under the IPA Croatia - Bosnia and Herzegovina program and relies on traditional hiking and equestrian trails and the abandoned Rera route, the former Sinj railway.


Monika Vrgoč

After the official completion of the project in 2015, there were numerous devastations on the track itself. Therefore, to further evaluate, Split-Dalmatia County initiated its reconstruction.

Faced with a global pandemic, due to which we all have limited movements and new market conditions and modalities, we have embarked on the first phase of revitalizing the Our Lady of Sinj Trail project.

Using virtual tools, the project tries to bring all interested visitors closer to the entire offer on the trail (numerous sights, rich cultural and historical heritage, as well as tourist facilities) and interest them in future visits to the Our Lady of Sinj Trail and Marian shrines. The virtual walk is prepared by members of the experienced team of the Cogitolab agency in cooperation with the priests of Our Lady of Sinj priests, the Shrine of Our Lady of Otok, the Parish of St. Jakov and Ana in Dicmo, Parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Dugopolje and the Parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Klis, which will provide them with the necessary conditions and help in creating content for many pilgrims who arrive in our southern Croatian Marian shrines.


Ivan Alebić

Marian shrines have always had a special place in the hearts of believers. They worshiped the Blessed Virgin Mary and prayed to her for help in difficult times and troubles. They trusted in her heavenly intercession, honoring her out of gratitude as the queen of the Croats. She has been called the fidelissima advocata Croatiae (the most faithful lawyer of Croats) throughout history.


Ante Gaspar

Every year, before the Feast of the Assumption, between August 8 and 15, thousands of pilgrims, especially young people, go on a pilgrimage to the city of Sinj. On August 15, a central religious ceremony is held. Accompanied by the celebration of bells and fanfare, the image of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj is taken from the church in a solemn procession through the streets of the city. It is a great honor to carry the picture on your shoulders.



The historical connection between the faithful and Our Lady's shrines is also important on the eve of September 8, the feast of the Assumption, the celebration of the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is especially solemnly celebrated in Solin, in the Shrine of Our Lady of Otok. Rivers of pilgrims will flow from Sinj to Solin and from many other places in Croatia. It is a special experience to set off on foot along the ancient paved paths on a spiritual journey, away from the city noise and commotion, and to find peace and refuge in the safe shelter of Our Lady. Pilgrims will take the votive step to the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, along marked paths through picturesque areas rich in historical heritage. On the spiritual journey to the Heavenly Mother, they will pass by the remains of old paths and bridges, along with the forts, forts, stećak tombstones, sacral buildings, and museums.


Branko Čović

By developing the accompanying infrastructure and raising awareness of the immense value of cultural and religious heritage, the Our Lady of Sinj Trail is active throughout the year, not only during the feasts of the Assumption.

The Our Lady of Sinj Trail is an excellent example of the functional coexistence of tourism and religion without disturbing the natural balance.

It is also a valuable contribution to the tourist offer of Sinj, Cetina region, and Split-Dalmatia County, proof of smart disposal of cultural and aesthetic values and natural resources, which certainly gives a positive boost to sustainable tourism, welfare, and well-being of society as a whole.

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

Monday, 12 April 2021

Cycling Tourism Development in Inland Dalmatia - Split Hinterland Presented in Dugopolje

April 12, 2021 - The tourist boards of the Municipality of Dugopolje, the Municipality of Klis, Sinj, Trilj, and Vrlika have joined forces to launch a project for the developing a modern cycling tourism offer in their area. The Cycling tourism development in Inland Dalmatia - Split Hinterland project was presented in Dugopolje.

As a selective form of high value-added tourism, cycling tourism is one of the fastest-growing niches in the tourism industry. Simultaneously, cycling tourism is an extremely sustainable and valuable catalyst for the tourist and economic and social development of areas and regions that traditionally are not considered active in tourism. At the heart of its users' motivation lies the desire to enjoy the preserved spaces and get to know the authentic local cultures.


Bruno Radotić and Petar Čavlović

For tourist-developed destinations, cycling tourism provides much-needed diversification of the offer, the extension of the season, and guests with higher added value. To them, complementary to rural areas, it opens the door to tourist activity. The potential of cycling tourism is also recognized at the strategic level, so in the Tourism Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia, it is stated as a strategically important product in which it is necessary to invest. Also, in the conditions of the "new normal," cycling tourism acquires an additional positive dimension as one of the most resilient forms of tourism in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Bruno Radotić and Petar Čavlović

Cycling requires a systematic approach to developing infrastructure and services and creating fresh promotional patterns. Collaborating with the brand "Trail - Full Cycling Experience," specializing in the development of cycling destinations, which in Dalmatia develops a cycling offer of Makarska Riviera and Zabiokovolje and the Neretva Valley, and created a unique micro-destination Polje Jezero between Vrgorac and Ploce, began in late 2020 is an extensive field and analytical work of assessing resources, potential, and the current situation in the area of Dugopolje, Klis, Sinj, Trilj, and Vrlika.

During November and December 2020, cycling tourism experts drove all existing and marked routes in the area of all cities and municipalities involved in the project. In total, they analyzed 21 routes with 656 kilometers of bike routes. They assessed the types of routes, their adaptation to market needs, safety status, coherence of marking, complementarity, connectivity, and equipment and tourist attractiveness.


Bruno Radotić and Petar Čavlović

Based on the collected data, a detailed analytical-reporting document was prepared, which was presented to the client's representatives at the meeting held in March in Dugopolje.

The document provides a picture of the current situation, assesses the quality of existing infrastructure, highlights the challenges and obstacles to positioning the area in the cycling market, and provides basic guidelines for the necessary interventions and modifications of existing resources. It recognizes the exceptional potential of Inland Dalmatia as a cycling tourist destination. Preserved nature, diverse landscape, an extensive network of roads and local roads with low traffic intensity, and accessibility from the most important European markets make this branch of sports and adventure tourism a logical step.

Accordingly, the tourist boards of Vrlika, Trilj, and Sinj and the municipalities of Klis and Dugopolje continue to focus on the development of cycling tourism with the aim of greater recognition of the destination in key markets and developing sustainable tourism.

Follow the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel 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.

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. 

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.

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