Summer festival “Rapska Fjera”, unique in Croatia, is a summer event based on historical legacy on island Rab. In 2002 it was again restored from municipal holidays proclaimed for the first time on 21 of July of summer 1364. It presents the highest value in nurturing and developing indigenous and traditional culture. Municipal summer holidays “Rabske Ferije” were declared by the Grand Council of the Town of Rab on 21.07.1364. Holidays were declared in honor of King Louis the Great who liberated Rab from Venice, and also in honor of St. Christopher, patron of the Town of Rab. Festivities were held in order to be able to worship St. Christopher, who according to the legend saved Rab.
Rab summer fair participants were craftsmen and artisans on the island of Rab, who were actively engaged in ensuring the livelihood and crafts that have existed and provided a living in the Middle Ages. Also cultural associations and clubs that are voluntarily engaged in traditional crafts and traditional values, and foster development of local products and way of life. Reclaimed ceremony “Rapska fjera” is now held in a shortened period of three days: 25.07. – St. James, 26.07. – St. Ann and 27.07. – St. Christopher. In a time between 21:00 to 00:30 hours daily. Festivities and events in the summer evenings of July include a procession through the streets of old town Rab. Shows and performances are organized by various groups in the medieval style, with crossbow competition, fireworks.
The significance, impact and meaning of Rapska Fjera was best so far described by the Croatian Academic Slobodan Novak in the preface to the catalog “Rabska fjera”. From there we chose the following quote:
“Summer festival Rabska Fjera” …
“… On the contrary, very dignified ceremony, that was inaugurated six and a half centuries ago. And it’s not a great parade of worthless, but actually an expression of desire that, if only by intuition, penetrate the darkness of past centuries which are still recognizable shadows of our ancestors. To perceive their own roots, to confirm and reinforce their identity. That is to be able to, woven and bound by sophisticated modern technologies, recall the beauty of the hand, fingers and skill, the blisters instead of gloves, the predestined relationship with nature, with land and sea, the spiritual and material creativity of our ancestors. The individual creativity somewhat forgotten by the time of team work, running tape machine and garment.”