Calendar of Activities
Mad – In this celebration, a young elm tree is selected as a symbol of spring and hope for the future. Custom requires that the most recently married man in the town must cut the elm tree and bring it to the main square in front of the St. Nicholas church. The young people of Perast then decorate the tree with bottles of milk and wine, cookies and colorful ribbons. The groom lifts the tree, accompanied by the music of tamburitza, and leads a procession all around the town. Afterwards all go to a coffee bar for coffee with milk and cookies.
15 May – This feast day commemorates a famous victory over the Turks on May 15, 1654. In memory of the victory, a custom of “shooting of a cock” has developed - the cock symbolizing the enemy. An air rifle is used for the shooting. The marksman who hits the cock is awarded a “sugaman” (towel) on which the dates of the shooting and the battle are embroidered. The winner is required to treat the whole town to a barrel of wine.
Fasinada – This is a custom called “Fasinada” which is unique to the town of Perast as well as to the whole Mediterranean coast. On the 22nd of July , the inhabitants of Perast commemorate the year 1452 when an icon of the Virgin was found on a small crag in the sea and the construction of the island of Our Lady of the Rock began. On this day every year, people bring stones in their boats and drop them into the sea around the island. The custom has both symbolic and practical meaning. Adding rocks reinforces the island which is constantly washed and eroded by the sea. The simplicity of the occasion, striped of all elements of folklore, evokes the memory of the centuries-long efforts that were needed to build, from a small crag (skrpjel), this little island with its lovely church.
Regatta Cup Fasinada – On the 22nd of July, the same day as the celebration of Fasinada, a regatta is held off Perast. In the memory of Perast’s magnificent history of sea-faring and navigation, all the sailboats in the Boka participate in a regatta for the Fasinada Cup. About hundred sailing boats in senior and junior categories generally compete for a “cup” (actually a statue) and an honorary inscription on the plaque of the lighthouse of Our Lady of the Rock where the prizes are awarded. The finish line, both real and symbolic, is an imaginary line between the two islands – St. George and Our Lady of the Rock. The organizer of the regatta is Y.C.Lahor - Kotor www.lahor.org
International Festival of Klape (traditional bands) –The festival is held annually on the second weekend of August. The participants are klape (traditional bands) form the Mediterranean countries, who sing “a kapela”. This is the only festival of klape in Montenegro.
The Cuisine of Perast
The specialty of Perast is called the bobi, a traditional sweet prepared at religious carnivals, the recipe of which is closely guarded by the town. In other settlements along the Bay, doughnuts are prepared, while in Perast, the bobi are fried. In appearance, they are similar to “bob” (a kind of bean) after which they are named. Another famous sweet of Perast is a delicious almond cake.