The 68th Dubrovnik Summer Festival was opened last night. This annually-held summer festival with rich theatre, classical music, opera and dance programme and it is held at the most beautiful Dubrovnik locations and open-air stages every year between July 10th and August 25th from 1950. 

Dubrovnik Summer Festival art music Old Town square

However, for us who come from Dubrovnik it is so much more than a cultural event and an opportunity to see and experience amazing performances by the best artists from Croatia and abroad. It is difficult to put in words how much importance it has for us, the last night’s opening ceremony. It’s like all of our love and connection to this beautiful town we call home, pride we have because of its uniqueness, historical and cultural importance and pure beauty of it as well as  feeling of belonging, feeling of home that Dubrovnik gives us, come alive that one day of the year. 

libertas flag Dubrovnik Dubrovnik summer festival art music Chasing the monkey

The day before the opening, at midnight, in front of St Blaise’s Church there is an opening ceremony rehearsal and it’s almost as important as the real thing to the people of Dubrovnik, it’s a fun and lovely tradition where people gather and comment loudly, express their agreement or disagreement with certain scenes and parts of the ceremony. There is laughter, criticism, numerous applauses but also occasional whistles to show disapproval of something. Local people feel like the festival is theirs, there is this strong connection and attachment to it so they also feel like they have the right to participate and give their opinions about it. 

otvaranje

It’s all part of the  well accepted tradition and every year people anticipate the ceremony with excitement and butterflies in their stomach and afterwards talk about it, analyse it, giving their praise but also criticisms how it could be improved the following year…

My absolute favourite part of the ceremony (and I believe every other local’s!) is the moment when the choir performs the ‘Hymn to freedom’ by a great Renaissance & Baroque poet, Ivan Gundulic, in which the concept of freedom is celebrated with the most beautiful verses. In Dubrovnik Republic freedom was considered to be the greatest value in life and for that reason the word LIBERTAS (‘freedom’) was written in capital letters on its famous flag. It’s a very emotional moment and usually there isn’t a dry eye in the audience when the hymn is performed and Libertas flag raised to Orlando’s column. I get emotional just thinking about it!

Having lived as an expat in 4 different countries and for quite a few years and now living in Zagreb, of course I always miss Dubrovnik but on that day of the opening of Dubrovnik Summer Festival I always wish with all my heart I could be there to experience those special moments but no matter where I am in the world, I always feel enormous pride and love to my hometown. And how lucky I am to be able to call it mine…

dubrovnik summer festival

Photo: Go Dubrovnik & dubrovnik-festival.hr

And now, let’s check out some of your best photos of last night…

The fireworks at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival 2017 opening ceremony were out of this world! Our old school wooden ship was docked amongst some of the most spectacular yachts in the world, so as well as admiring the light show over the city walls, we were able to peak inside the boats’ windows to see how the other half live! The yacht in the top photo – Insignia- is advertised for sale online at €8.5m… I was thinking of getting in touch to see if the sellers fancied buying this pic for their sales brochure! #fireworks #dubrovnik #croatia #dubrovniksummerfestival #dubrovniksummerfestival2017 #openingceremony #yachts #sailing #insignia #insigniayacht #howtheotherhalflive #sailing #travel #holiday #vacation #travelphotography #instatravel #travelgram

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#dubrovackeljetneigre #dubrovniksummerfestival #croatiafulloflife

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