After tiresome business obligations, the day has finally arrived for you to head to your long-desired destination, where you will spend a few days of your well-deserved vacation. In order to remember your vacation in the long autumn, but also white winter nights, Tourist Board Nin and its partners have taken care of organizing a number of interesting cultural and tourist events. It is exactly these events that affect you and your cheerful and positive mood. What has been prepared to make your vacation in the royal town of Nin to be even better and more interesting? Let's start from the beginning…
On the first day of summer, 21st June, the Festival of Sun and Light was traditionally held at the Church of the Holy Cross. This year, the festival has celebrated its 10th anniversary. It was 10 years ago, during the International Year of Astronomy, that the first such festival was held and immediately gained success and attracted visitors. The peculiarity of the Festival of Sun and Light is that it is held at, as it is called, the smallest cathedral in the world. That pre-Romanesque building of the cruciform layout with a dome, which has special characteristics that allow the entrance of sunrays. The Church of the Holy Cross was built to serve as a sundial and a calendar.
Following this wonderful festival, the events in Nin continued with the Open-Door Day of the Nin Saltworks and with the widely known Nin's šokolijada. Since 2003, Šokolijada has been held in Nin, and everyone who has tasted šokol, that famous gastronomic delicacy, has been delighted with its taste and aroma. Namely, šokol starts to be prepared at the beginning of a year, and it reaches its peak precisely at Šokolijada, when the best šokolars compete. Although this is a specialty of Nin, it is interesting that also compete šokolars from the continental Croatia, who have perfected the preparation of this delicacy. What is šokol? It is a dried meat product made from pork, of a distinctive taste due to the addition of the Nin salt and spices. However, it is also particularly affected by the drying on the Nin bora which gives it a special smell and aroma. The pork neck is aged for a few days in sea salt, then immersed into red wine to which various spices have been added. After that, šokol is dried in the bora and smoke, but each šokolar also has their own secret ingredient which gives each šokol its distinctiveness. Winning the Nin šokolijada is a matter of prestige and all šokolars spend months trying to make the best šokol they can.
After you have tasted šokol and washed it with wine, it is time for yet another, completely different event. Namely, on 2nd August, the Salt Festival is held at the Nin Saltworks. It is one of the rare European salt pans where salt is produced in the traditional way with hand harvesting and packing. During this unique Salt Festival, various competitions are held, for example, the preparation of various types of dishes in which salt is the main ingredient. It is all accompanied with an entertaining program. At the Salt Festival, you can also discover that salt is not only a food seasoning, but is it also used for cosmetic purposes, as it is used for the preparation of skin care products.
The Pilgrimage to Zečevo and the Days of the Patrons of Nin
For everything not to be only about gastronomy and entertainment, but also the time to work on spiritual renewal during vacation, the Church holiday of the Apparition of the Lady of Zečevo is celebrated on 5th August, and on that occasion, a traditional pilgrimage is organized to the nearby isle of Zečevo. The isle is special in many ways, and one of the special features is that during the low tide, it becomes part of the mainland. The reason for that can be found in a 16th century story. Namely, the Turks, in retaliation for the defeat in Nin, set fire to the church and the monastery at Zečevo, killed the monks who were there and took away the Statue of Our Lady. According to the legend, the statue was thrown overboard, but our Lady „swam“ to Nin by itself and in 1516 appeared to the Nin widow Jelena and gave her a message for the people. That apparition was confirmed by the tears of the statue of Our Lady. Since then, on 5th August every year, there is a traditional pilgrimage for the worshippers, but also for all others who wish to see the miraculous Statue of Our Lady. We kindly invite you to visit the isle of Zečevo this year.
Having dived deeper into your own soul, stay in Nin a bit longer, as on 10th August, the 5th romantic night takes place in the most romantic European destination – European Best romantic destination. Write down your most secret wishes on the Memories Wall, kiss your loved one on the designated „kissing points“, dance at concerts taking place at several places in town, or just sit on the „kissing bench“ and look up into the starry sky. The romantic night will be further enriched by historical figures from the Nin history who will walk the streets of Nin, and with each of them you will have the opportunity to take a photo to keep the memory forever. Lastly, enjoy the fireworks and make a wish to return to the capital of the Croats again!
If you have enough time for a vacation or you have decided to go on vacation in the second half of August, then make sure to stay in Nin on 25th and 26th August, when the royal town commemorates the Days of the Patrons of Nin, St. Marcela and St. Anselmo to whom the parish church was dedicated. According to the folk tradition, St. Anselmo was one of 72 disciples of Christ who came to Nin and its area to preach and spread Christianity. In addition to him, Marcela from the Gospel of Luke was a housewife in the house of Martha, Maria and Lazarus, and in the apostolic proclamation in Nin, she assisted Bishop Anselmo and Deacon Ambrose. The relics of St. Anselmo, St. Ambrose and St. Marcela are in the reliquaries in Nin, they have been worshipped since the first centuries of Christianity, and today, they can be found in the main Baroque altar in the Nin parish church. With the religious festivals, the Days of the Patrons of Nin, there will be cheerful and fun atmosphere that is enjoyed by both people of Nin and their guests.
After the end of the main tourist season, events in Nin continue, and the weather in September is warm and nice enough to go for a swim at the Queen's Beach, to do some bird watching or just go for a stroll in the town. Enjoy romantic moments in Nin!
Foto: Marin Stulić