Some years ago, a tiny fire on our land, introduced us to an old "Catholic" tradition.
Lots of Saint's days in Croatia, and Sveti Ivan, the day of Holy Ivan (Sveti = Holy) is one of them.
Some of those Saint's days just come and go, some other are celebrated in for instance Split, Solin or Trogir.
(Don't ask me when, how or why).
Overhere, in our neighborhood a couple are worth mentioning:
Sveti Marko, on which day a sermon is held at an old chapel on a mountaintop.
Funny detail of that day is that the crowd circles the chapel three times, to ask for a good harvest.
Sveti Jure, another sermon another chapel, another mountaintop, high on the ridge between us and the sea.
A straining climb, followed by a gathering around the chapel, and after the catholic sermon, a pick-nick and on returning home, picking herbs to make one of those many liqueurs (this one called Travarica).
And than there is Sveti Ivan, the day we adopted, to share our happiness with neighbors and friends.
Being a (pretty good) hobby cook, I prepare a "grand buffet" for all our friends and take care there is plenty of refreshments.
What started with some close neighbors, a small fire, a beer and "goodnight" again, grew to be a great gathering with about 40 people (and increasing !!), a huge fire and a great evening together.
We feel at home here, and are invited many times here or there to hop in for a drink or a diner, so this is the perfect way to say THANKS/HVALA to all our friends !
Of course we're not only depending on all those Saints, we've got many occasions through the year where we meet and help each other (picking grapes or olives, planting potatoes or cleaning our roadsides).
The great thing of life here is that it's still a true community, sharing each and every moment.
And most of those moments are a good excuse to eat, drink and sing together.
Many more happy days to follow, with once in a while a sad day too, but all of those moments and days are shared together, and that makes life here more than special.
Lucky you, if you experience one of those moments during your holidays in Dalmacija.
You might one day decide to do like we did.
Living in paradise.
As that's what it feels like.