Reason #110: attend a very special ritual on Easter Saturday to see Roman soldiers fall at the tomb of Jesus
To skip to the highlight of the ritual, go to 1:50
Easter is an intriguing holiday as it is, but in these here parts they add even more excitement to the festivities with Žudije – 13 men dressed as Roman soldiers. Both Selca and Sumartin have their Žudije organizations. In some Dalmatian villages and towns this tradition has been observed since before WWII.
Žudije from Selca, selački soldati župe Gospe Karmelske (Photo selca.hr)
Žudije take part in ceremonies starting with Easter Thursday. The highlight is the reenactment of the moment Roman soldiers realized Christ was resurrected. At that moment the soldiers first fall to the ground then flee the tomb as angels appear. Although the basic premise is the same, the beauty of the tradition is that each Žudije club has their own performance style and costumes. All the Žudije organizations gather each year on Easter Monday to show off their styles and compete for the title of the best Žudije of Croatia.
Last year’s Žudije festival in Rogotin. (Photo: slobodnadalmacija.hr)
Good luck to our Žudije at tomorrow’s festival in Vrlika!
UPDATE from this year’s festival in Vrlika:
Žudije from Selca with their youngest member Niki :)
More on the Easter tradition in Selca and Sumartin in this post: Za križen – Following the Cross