The Lastovo Carnival

Posted By Anita / January 30, 2016 / attractions, culture / 0 Comments

The Lastovo Carnival festivities start on St. Anthony’s Day on 17 January, although the carnival dance season may also start on Epiphany (Three Kings’ Day). The Municipal Head, physician and priest are invited to the first dance evening. After the guest and members of the carnival group have gathered, the Hall Master welcomes those present and asks the Municipal Head, physician and priest to open the dance, that is, to mark the beginning of the carnival. The usual dances are the waltz, English waltz, polka, lišo, la raspa, kvatropas and other suitable ones. During dance evenings, the Hall Master may call the Elderly Dance (balo za stare), Carnival Group Dance (balo za društvo), Lyre Dance (balo pod liru) and Guest Dance (balo za goste).
The carnival on the island of Lastovo as a time to party, relax and escape from the social and religious discipline of daily life has existed for centuries. It is found in the Statute of Lastovo from 1310 as Carnevale, a time, which – besides various ways of amusement and relaxation appropriate at the time and to the circumstances – was also suitable for slaughtering surplus livestock (lambs and kids). So it was not only a time to party but also to drink and eat well. The carnival takes place in winter, after the Catholic holidays of Christmas, St. Stephen’s Day (Boxing Day), St. John’s Day, Three Kings’ Day (Epiphany) and before Ash Wednesday, when days are short and nights are long. It is therefore the perfect time for revelry before Lent and major spring work in the fields and at sea. The Lastovo Carnival custom has gone through various changes throughout centuries before acquiring its present form. The most important thing for us, the inhabitants of Lastovo, is that it has remained preserved to date despite all hardships and challenges, which our ancestors have encountered throughout centuries under the rule of various countries (the Venetian Republic, Dubrovnik Republic, France, England, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Italy, Yugoslavia). We are proud to have one of the oldest carnival customs still practised in this region. We are happy and proud to have such cultural heritage, which the Croatian Ministry of Culture has recognized and listed among national non-material cultural goods, and we must be aware of the responsibility to preserve, respect, cherish and pass it on to future generations.

izvor: http://www.lastovski-poklad.hr/

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