6 Things You Should Know About Easter Tradition in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, besides being one of the top summer destinations in the world, is an exceptional place to visit any time of the year. So, if you have some free time around Easter, you should come to Dubrovnik and discover our traditions and customs. In the days leading up to Easter Sunday, the city comes alive with tradition, making it the perfect time to truly understand the local culture and religion.

In this blog post, we reveal 6 things you probably didn’t know about our unique Easter tradition. Here is what you should expect when you come to Dubrovnik during the Easter holiday:

1. Palm Sunday Tradition

A week before Easter, on Palm Sunday, local traditions in Dubrovnik start. That day is known as “Cvjetnica” or “Cvjetna Nedjelja” in Croatia. “Flower Sunday” would be the literal translation.

On this day, Catholics gather at the church to bless nicely crafted palm branches and olive tree native branches. The lovely practice of knitting palm branches has been preserved, not only for the present, but also for future generations as it is passed down. The blessed branches, according to belief, brought good agricultural produce, happiness, health and well-being.

Also, on Palm Sunday, girls used to wash their faces in water infused with flower petals which they picked from blossoming trees and field flowers. It was believed that by doing so, both the appearance and the mind would remain fresh.

Rudinapress/K. Ježina

2. Procession Under the Cross

Good Friday is observed as a day of abstinence and silence. The chiming of church bells stops from the evening of Maundy Thursday and continues until Easter Sunday.

On this day, a large procession runs through the streets of the Old Town. The tradition, known as the Procession Under the Cross, involves dozens or perhaps hundreds of religious men carrying wooden crosses on their banks for several kilometers through the city.

Moreover, on Good Friday, it is a tradition not to consume anything derived from animals, except fish. So, many people will enjoy a traditional meal of fish, with dried cod, known locally as “bakalar”. The fish is soaked in water for 24 hours or longer before being cooked with potatoes and garlic that gives a particular flavor. On Good Friday, many restaurants prepare this meal, so if you come you have to try it!


3. Blessing of Easter Basket Foods

It is a custom to bring a food basket to church for blessing on Easter morning. Traditionally, the basket contains young cheese, green onions, eggs, salt, and “pinca”, an Easter bread that is very rich and sweet. Typically, families enjoy the blessed foods before the Easter lunch. It is a very well preserved family custom in which the whole family takes part.

After fasting, you may finally eat “properly”. Typically, families will enjoy lamb dishes. However, that is not as rooted in the tradition as cooking cod is. So, during Easter, people will essentially cook some kind of meat dish. 

If you come to Dubrovnik during this period, you’ll find “pinca” bread in most bakeries and markets. They cannot be compared to the homemade ones, but are still quite delicious and worth trying!

Sašina kuhinja

4. Egg Painting and Gifting Tradition

One of the most famous Easter traditions in Dubrovnik is the coloring of eggs. This old technique of drawing patterns in molten beeswax and dipping the eggs in water coloured with natural dyes such as red onion skins is known locally as “penganje”.

This is still something that people do. Not just in Dubrovnik, but also throughout the surrounding area. Happy Easter, or “Sretan Uskrs“ in Croatian is the most common phrase written on painted eggs.

It was once a custom to give eggs as a gift to relatives first. It was a must. Previously, considerably more eggs were chosen and donated, ranging from 12 to 48 for each immediate family member. Today, eggs are given as gifts, in smaller amounts, to family members, friends, neighbours, and respected members of the community.


5. Traditional Game

On Easter Sunday, uneaten eggs are used in a traditional game where two players choose the eggs and hold them vertically while one person slightly taps the end of the other egg with their end. Anyone whose egg cracks must select another and then tap the other person’s egg, and they continue until all the eggs have been used and cracked but the last one. 

The one who has the strongest, unbroken egg at the end, is the winner.

Slavica Štefić/Glas Hrvatske

6. Working Hours of the Shops

Easter is an important national holiday in Croatia since it is a mostly Catholic country. So, the shops and markets won’t be open on that day. The situation is pretty much the same the next day. If a store was closed on Sunday, it will probably be closed on Monday as well. Alternatively, in the best-case scenario, it will shorten its working hours that day.


We are sure you will be delighted with the old customs that are still being practiced today if you decide to visit Dubrovnik at Easter. Warm spring days, joy in the air, special offers at restaurants, and a less crowded city – it is simply a magical time to come to Dubrovnik!

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If you need any help with itinerary planning, get in touch with us at info@dubrovnikprivate.tours. We’ll be more than happy to lend a hand!