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UNESCO "Za Križen"

Apr 14, 2022

Za Križen is actually six processions all leaving simultaneously from the villages of Vrboska, Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik, Svirče and Vrisnik at 10:30 on the evening of Maundy Thursday. Each group is headed by acolytes carrying lanterns to show the way for the cross bearer, who carries a wooden cross (weighing between 10 and 18 kg) barefoot the entire route. Each procession heads in a clockwise direction to the next parish church, praying and chanting along the way, before stopping in the church for prayers and the harmonies of the lament of Mother Mary.

After praying in each church, the procession continues along the circle of hilltop villages and along the coastal towns of Vrboska and Jelsa, before ending at the starting point, with the exhausted cross-bearer often running the last few steps before surrendering the cross to the parish priest. The deep male voices chanting through the night give the procession a special atmosphere, as does the practice of every household in the participating villages leaving a light on through the night.