Zadar´s annual lunar celebration begins at dusk. The town´s inhabitants turn off their lights and congregate on the candlelit Riva, Zadar´s promenade, to enjoy a night of Croatian music, food and folklore. Boats are transformed into floating markets selling fish, cheese and fruits from all corners of the Dalmatian region, while down on the beach, revellers sing and dance ´til daybreak.
Many tourists are visiting Zadar to enjoy unforgettable sunsets with a view of nearby islands. Famed director Alfred Hitchcock said that the most beautiful sunset in the world can be seen from precisely this spot on the Zadar´s sea promenade (Riva). That was how he described it after his visit to Zadar, a visit he remembered throughout his life by the meeting of the sinking sun and the sea. But he didn´t know that the full moon above the Zadar Channel is even more beautiful.
On the night of the full moon in the middle of summer, the Riva is lit by torches and candlelight. Ships transform into floating shops offering all kinds of things, from the best tuna and sardines caught by the famous Kali fishermen (Island of Ugljan) and clams from Pašman to the Novigrad mussels. Old-fashioned konobas, here for this occasion only, serve a variety of traditional dishes, from the Nin "Šokol" ham to figs, cheese, rakija and other delights.
If you are unable to visit the Zadar surroundings or the Zadar islands to learn about the local folklore and customs, be sure to visit the Night of the Full Moon. You will be impressed. The Night of the Full Moon takes place, naturally, in the night when the moon is full, on July 20th, 2013.
It has been over ten years since the lights went out for the first time on the Zadar Riva to allow the moon to bask in its full glory and shine its true light, calling out to the memories of our ancestors and the times gone by. This must be the most beautiful sunset int he world!, said Alfred Hitchcock while sipping his Maraschino on the Zadar Riva 45 years ago, not knowing that the rise of the moon over that same canal is an even more enchanting sight.
The Night of the Full Moon is an event, a festival of culture, cuisine and customs of the Zadar region – a time machine available to everyone. On July 20th, it will put a smile on the faces of all visitors. It is an evening that, for a brief moment, brings us back to the times when Zadar was a city of gentry, happily coexisting with its coastline, its islands and the hinterland. Hard-working fishermen and farmers made their living by selling their goods to the citizens; today, once a year, Zadar invites their descendants and their great-grandchildren to remind them of the old days for this one night.
A meeting of the culture of boduli (islanders) and vlasi (residents of the hinterland), unique fragrances from opulent tables, diple and mandolins accompanied by the Sea Organ! Street lights replaced by lanterns and candles, klapa singing and dancing, guests from other parts of the country and crowds of smiling, happy people together under the big moon.