Procession Za Krizen (‘following the cross’) on the island of Hvar

Inscribed in 2009 (4.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Country(ies): Croatia



Procession Za Krizen (‘following the cross’) on the island of Hvar

After mass on Maundy Thursday before the Christian holiday of Easter, each of six villages on the Dalmatian island of Hvar in southern Croatia sends out a group that will proceed through the other villages in a circle, covering twenty-five kilometres in eight hours before returning home. Each party in this community-organized Za Krizen (‘following the cross’) procession is led by a cross-bearer who walks barefoot or in socks, never resting. The cross-bearer, formerly selected from among religious brotherhoods and today chosen by registration up to twenty years in advance, has a much-desired and respected position, reflecting the devotion of the individual bearer and his family. He is followed by two friends with candelabra and others carrying candles and lanterns, five choral singers who sing the Lamentation of the Virgin Mary at several points along the way, and many worshippers of all ages from Croatia and abroad wearing the tunics of religious brotherhoods. The procession is greeted by the priests of each of the other five villages and returns home; the cross-bearer runs the last hundred metres to receive the blessing of his home priest. A long-established and inalienable part of Hvar religious and cultural identity, the procession connects the communities of the island to each other and to the world Catholic community.


Decision 4.COM 13.33

The Committee (…) decides that [this element] satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as follows:

  • R.1: The element expresses the religious, cultural and social identity of the population of Hvar Island, and has been transmitted from generation to generation, providing the community with a sense of continuity;
  • R.2: Inscription of the element on the Representative List would contribute to enhancing the visibility of intangible cultural heritage while promoting respect for cultural diversity and encouraging dialogue;
  • R.3: The proposed safeguarding measures effectively target sustainability, awareness-raising and preservation of the built heritage linked to this element;
  • R.4: The element was nominated with the full participation of the community concerned, as well as relevant cultural and scientific institutions, and with their free, prior and informed consent;
  • R.5: The Procession Za Krizen (following the cross) is inscribed in the Register of Cultural Goods of the Republic of Croatia maintained by the Ministry of Culture.



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