Zen Recreations

  Posted Monday, March 19, 2018 at 4:10pm by Zen Recreations

Montenegro_Festivals in April & May

Festivals in April and May

Montenegro’s spring festivals in April and May are full of energy and fun!

The days and nights resound with performances, music events and entertaining programs. Night clubs even post go-go dancers on the main promenade to compete for your patronage. Join the jetsetters who moor their yachts along the marina and stroll in for a drink… 

April is all about Easter!

April 6-9         Easter

This year, come celebrate Easter twice and duel with Easter eggs!

April 6            - Orthodox Good Friday

April 8            - Orthodox Easter

April 9            - Orthodox Easter Monday

“O welcome, welcome, lovely Spring, ‘tis Nature’s happy Easter-tide’!”  The happiest Christian holiday is just around the corner with lots of celebrations and colorful eggs, fasts, feasts and family time. Of special interest, this year the Western Christian Church celebrates Easter on April 1st but the Eastern Orthodox Church (in Montenegro) will celebrate Easter on April 8th—so come to Montenegro and celebrate Easter twice this year if you want to!

You will hear “Hristos vaskrse” a lot, meaning “Christ has risen”! (XREE-stos vas-KROSH-eh; the “X” is a little bit like a guttural “H”.)

To respond in kind just say “Vaistinu vaskrse”, which means “Truly risen”.  ( -steen-oo vas-KROSH-eh, with a long “I” in ‘vaistinu’.)

Official holidays include Good Friday, Holy Sunday and the Monday after Easter. The tradition starts on Good Friday, when the ladies of Montenegro get busy decorating eggs for the egg duel – and the decorations are amazing! You will often see baskets of eggs in bars and restaurants painted up as though they’re part of an art competition!

Fasting for Easter traditionally ends on Holy Sunday, so finding a great eatery and in which to celebrate and club together with friends to feast is certainly a happy time.The food is part Italian, part Levantine – expect the best tasting cured meats (known as meza) washed down with loza a form of grape brandy or honey wine a local specialty, followed by seafood such as squid or octopus near the coast or meaty stews inland.

Easter Egg Duels!

Easter Sunday is also “egg dueling day”, when friends and family gently hit each other’s egg with their own to see if one will break. The one whose egg does not break is believed to be in for good luck!

Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ and the hard shell of the egg symbolizes the sealed Tomb of Christ. (When the egg cracks it’s not sad; the egg breaking open symbolizes resurrection.) Easter eggs are blessed by priests at the end of the Paschal Vigil (which is equivalent to Holy Saturday) and given away in church.

As in the West, modern custom is to celebrate with chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with candy. Easter egg hunts here are similar to the West, too, as these treats are set out for children to find.

Processions carrying images of Christ and local saints wind around the streets to the churches and cathedrals, and candlelit services draw huge crowds.

Festivals in May

                                     Feštadjuni, in Budva

Budva becomes a City of Masks April 28-30, as everybody really gets into the swing of spring with the grand Feštadjuni carnival. This “Spring Night of Masks” is a major blow-out celebration in Budva, the coastal “party hub” of Montenegro.

A troupe of masked dancers set the tone with an elaborate costumed dance depicting the former life of the city. Performers have a perfect stage on the wide ramparts of the ancient Budva citadel, and using this event as a “starting gun” everyone is invited to join in with celebrations everywhere throughout the city. The masked event attracts masked participants from Austria, Ireland, Italy, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Albania and more. In the evening, carnival groups present a musical program on the square in front of the old town.

The big parade is held on the second day followed by scattered events into the evening, with a capella singing groups, concerts and DJ’s performing both inside and outside of the Old Town. Thousands of children and adults join the local Feštađuni carnival group in the international parade; feel free to dress up and join in the fun!

The old town of Budva will not disappoint you! According to legend, the city is a paradise that arose from romantic beginnings. The pleasure seeker, romantic, explorer or adventurer who finds his way to Budva’s ancient stone streets will find a dazzling variety of delicate silver filigree jewelry, endless little shops and neat little cafes to enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of coffee.

Join us, too, for Zen’s guided city walk! Budva is the oldest settlement in the Adriatic, (2,500+ years old), and we’ll outline some of the city’s history while wandering through charming narrow streets and secret passageways on a little journey of discovery.

May 10 – 13   Adria Fest

Hot on the heels of the Feštadjuni carnival, people of all ages come together for an international folk dance festival called “Adria Fest” held May 10 – 13. Groups from dozens of countries converge on the cities of Budva, Kotorand Herceg Novi. The highlights of this festival are folklore dances, modern dances, vocal and instrumental performances, and there are always some solo artists plus performances in other art styles.

You won’t have any shortage of eye candy during Adria Fest! Bring your camera (plus your sense of fun, of course!) and see folk dancers and performers from all over Europe, including Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia, Romania, Slovenia, Italy, Sweden, Moldavia, Armenia, Croatia, Czech, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Hungary!

The Festivals of Montenegro

An “always on” good time Montenegrin atmosphere uses all the local tourist-friendly assets and serves up delights all the time – but especially at festivals! (Beer, food, wine, scenery and friendly people *plus* music, art, shows and gatherings = full time awesomeness for locals and tourists alike!)

Festivals of one sort or another attract communities of fans from far and wide and every month has something interesting going on. But some months have nearly as many festivals as there are days!

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