The biggest festival in Sali on Dugi otok, Saljske užance, has been held for over 60 years. It is a cultural and entertainment event that offers three days of entertainment, concerts, unusual sports competitions, gastronomic competitions, presentations of folk customs and all this with traditional local dishes. The date of the festivity is the first weekend of August.
They are held the weekend before the Assumption day, and this year it was held from 7th to 9th of August.
This event gathers more and more people every year and is known as the best festival on the entire island of Dugi otok. A special feature of this festival is the traditional donkey race, a spectacular event for all visitors, especially for tourists. Numerous competitions were also organized, such as pulling the rope, scooter races, and a competition for locals in cooking and preparing seafood. The evenings are reserved for concerts by famous Croatian musicians and Dalmatian klapa.
Saljska užance also offers many traditional delicacies so that everyone can try the island's way of life and Mediterranean cuisine. The entertainment program with live music lasts until the early morning. The long and rich tradition of the Sali festival has made it one of the most famous festivals in the entire Adriatic.
On Wednesday people of Sali depart for Zadar to invite everyone to join them in their festivities, while the event officially opens on Thursday. On Friday, the ‘Fishermen’s night’ kicks off with the performance of ‘Tovareća mužika’ (donkey music), a traditional and peculiar kind of music played on various types of drums, antique irons filled with stones and particularly attractive horns. This music is a trademark of Sali and considered an intangible material heritage of Croatia, which originates from the old times, when it was played during cold and long nights by the islanders wishing to drive away the evil ghosts, or often mockingly to widows who would marry again. Also on Friday, in the true spirit of the Dalmatian tradition, you will be able to try many delicious fish dishes, including fish stews, as well as listen to traditional and popular klapa songs.
On Saturday during the day, you will be able to attend and even participate in the competitions such as (kids) scooter race, potato-sack race and pulling the rope. Saturday evening is reserved for the celebration of Sali Night (Saljska noć), when the port, boats and cafes are decorated and illuminated with lights and lanterns and accompanied by Tovareća mužika. That’s when the real fun starts with live music playing long into the night.
After a fun and sleepless night, Sunday morning begins with ‘Budnica’ (Reveille) which wakes everyone up with the sounds of Tovareća mužika. This is followed by the traditional donkey race in the afternoon. This spectacular event is an entertaining piece of tradition and a bundle of laugh which you shouldn’t miss! It takes place on the Sali waterfront. The race is followed by the award ceremony which will give prizes to the first and the fastest donkey as well as the last and laziest donkey. Sunday evening will see the last performance of Tovareća mužika which ends with all the players and performers jumping and swimming in the port.
This is an event you certainly don’t want to miss!
your ZadarVillas team
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