Holidays and festivals in summer in Montenegro

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Holidays in the Balkan countries are of frequent occurrence and Montenegro isn’t an exception. The uniqueness and scale of the events are worthy attracting the attention of the inhabitants of this country on the coast of the Adriatic Sea and numerous tourists from all over the world. Ancient national traditions and customs find reflection, in various festival, events and festivities for tens or hundreds years, which from year to year continue to present pleasant surprises for both residents and guests of amazing Montenegro. They are based on religious events, favorite folk traditions, historical facts, victories and discoveries, national music and dances, natural phenomena during the change of seasons and many other things. Montenegrins are very cheerful people and literally every month there are numerous celebrations. Often organized large-scale festivals, flash mobs, historical reproductions and fairs, where you can buy handmade items or try national food and dishes. All events in Montenegro are exclusively in the national style and in this article we will try to tell you about the most interesting, unusual and exciting that take place in summer.

3 June - Day of declaration of independence of Montenegro.
On 3 June, 2006, being part of Yugoslavia, the Parliament of Montenegro announced its independence and the withdrawal from the union with Serbia. This announcement was based on the results of a referendum held on 21 May, 2006, during which 55.5% of voters in Montenegro polled for the independence of the country. In mid-June, Montenegro was recognized by most of the world's countries and international organizations and on 28 June, 2006, Montenegro became the 192nd member of the UNO.

Festivals are a very important form of spreading the knowledge, culture and art of the country, as they give an idea of regional or global achievements over a certain period of time. In the last two decades, the Balkan Peninsula has become an area with a stunning festival culture. Each year a new musical or film festival appears in the Balkans, which takes a step forward in the process of "festivalization" in this part of the world. Undoubtedly, festivals are one of the best creators of memory. So, we present you several summer events with a unique style and atmosphere that can be added to the checklist for visiting and cultural enrichment.

Music festival "Refresh" (Kotor).
For sure, many of us want to spend the summer on the beautiful beaches of the Bay of Kotor on the Adriatic coast and visit the festival "Refresh" in the old town of Kotor in Montenegro. This year the festival will celebrate the 10th anniversary and hopes to attract more quality artists from the world electronic music scene. The festival will be held in large Maximus club, which offers high-quality music in the style of house and techno, talented dancers, visual effects and an international audience.

Budvansky music festival "Song of the Mediterranean" (Budva).
The largest music festival of the southern Adriatic, which is held in the popular tourist town Budva in the high season. A beautiful and gentle festival "Song of the Mediterranean" is known not only on the territory of the country, but also far beyond its borders and every year gathers a large number of Montenegrin and foreign performers. This musical event takes 3 days right in the middle of the ancient walls in the Old Town of Budva. Many famous bands come here, and this is a real trip to life or young performers. Among the famous participants there were also such performers as Toto Cutugno, Al Bano, Biaga and others.

The underwater film festival (Kotor).
An international event for which both Montenegrin and foreign filmmakers come. Throughout the festival, spectators are introduced to the beautiful underwater world of Montenegro on specially designed projections and installations, as well as showing the skills and courage of divers.

"Cultural summer" (Podgorica).
During the summer months a number of cultural events take place in the cities of Montenegro. In Podgorica, this is "Cultural Summer", which includes numerous theatrical performances in the open air, a film evening, as well as concerts taking place on the roof of the cultural and information center Budo Tomovic.

International Dance Festival (Budva).
Each year this event attracts a large number of dance schools in the region, which gladly participate in it. Competitions are held in accordance with the dance style and age category. The event is very popular and this is another unique chance to show your talents!

Blueberry days.
Blueberry days are an international festival, which has become very popular with the inhabitants of Montenegro and has become popular in the last couple of years. The northern region of Montenegro is rich in wild berries. Why not arrange a holiday in this honor? And why blueberry? Because, in Montenegro, there is the largest plantation of this berry. "Days of Blueberry" were declared as the best tourist event in Montenegro and in 2011 received the Montenegrin Prize. The program of the festival is very diverse: culture, art, music and sports. The festival includes many activities for all ages. Visitors can try various products from blueberries: juice, cakes and even wine which is of very high quality and is in high demand in Western Europe and America.

June 26 is the Day of the Bokelsky Navy (Kotor).
In Montenegro, the Day of the Bokelsky Navy is traditionally celebrated every year. This day is the anniversary of the adoption of the regulations of the Bokelsky fleet at the end of the 15th century - in 1463. Kotor has seen a lot during his existence, and this triumph is one of those that is intended to unite the hearts of people. Kotor Bay has an incredible ceremony. Sailors put on a suit of the sea uniform of that time and bypass the city along the squares and streets of the very old part where they did it several centuries ago. Sailors must submit a report to their admiral. The next stage is the passing of the city keys directly to the mayor. The traditional dance ends this holiday, in which sailors show not only their martial art, but also dance skills. This entry is called the Kolo of the Bokel fleet. Further celebrations go to the Maritime Museum, where fairs are held, various thematic souvenirs are sold and much more

29 June - Southern Soul Festival 2017 Electronic Music Festival (Velika Plaža, Ulcinj).
At the end of June, in the surf club Dolcinium, on the Adriatic coast, the 5th Southern Soul Festival will be held. The name itself is already associated with something beautiful. The largest music festival will be held at the end of June on the Velika Beach in Montenegro. For several nights local and foreign performers will present their compositions to the experienced spectators. Every year, the festival opens new names and gives new artists an opportunity to demonstrate their skills. The main entertainment part of the event will be attended by world stars, as well as performers of the local and European stage.

In addition, the festival will announce the names of many artists soon, thus, deducing the concept of the program this year to another level. The permanent concept of the festival program is a team of respected music critics, musicians and DJs from all over the world. Great work is behind this bright festival, which was created gradually over a couple of years and became the best of its kind. This festival is known for its cosmopolitan spirit, created both by people from Europe and by people from other parts of the world and regions of the former Yugoslavia. It is an opportunity that provides an exchange of soul, love and happiness. This is the main goal of this event. To preserve the exclusivity of the festival, as well as not to limit the comfort of visitors on the huge Dolcinium Kite Club beach, the number of tickets issued for sale is limited to 2,000. By the holiday this year, the organizers promised to increase this figure. After four successful Fests, interest to the festival has increased significantly among people from European and overseas countries. In Western Europe in 2016 almost all tickets were sold for a short period of time. This year it will be a jubilee. From 29 June to 2 July, the "Southern Soul Festival" becomes an oasis for all lovers of good music on the Adriatic coast! Guests are awaited for quality music and sand castles. This is the place where you want to return, confirm those who have already been there. After all, it's summer, sun, fun, sea, music and soul!

13 July is the Day of the Statehood of Montenegro.
Some people confuse the Day of Statehood with the Day of Independence in Montenegro. However, these are two completely different holidays. The Day of Statehood is celebrated in mid-July, namely on the 13th. The Principality of Montenegro was first recognized as an independent state under the rule of Nicholas I after the wars in which the Montenegrins fought against the Ottoman Empire in the framework of the Ottoman wars in the period of the decline of this empire. This recognition was followed by the modernization of the state, and in 1910 the country became a kingdom. After the wars in the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire lost virtually all the Balkan territories, while Montenegro and Serbia became historical allies. Since then, it supported Serbia in both the First and the Second World War. From 1918 to 2006, Montenegro was not an independent state, but belonged to Yugoslavia in its various incarnations. The modern sovereign state of Montenegro celebrates the day when it first became independent.

Budva night (Budva).
In addition to a large number of different exhibitions, concerts of classical music and many other cultural programs, tourists can attend a very interesting event - "Budvan Night". It is a traditional holiday, accompanied by dancing throughout the night to the rhythms of traditional national and contemporary music.

Ulcinj night (Ulcinj).
An entertaining tourist holiday with an extensive music program in the city of Ulcinj. Here, tourists are offered a variety of meat and fish dishes until the morning, and also served a wonderful local wine. The event takes place on the Ulcinj promenade and on the sandy beach near the Old Town.

"Chronicle of Bar" (Bar).
In turn, another multi-day theatrical performance called "Chronicle of Bar". Thanks to various programs, guests will have to keep track of everything that happens. Here, everyone will find something for themselves. Art exhibitions and theatrical performances, literary evenings and concerts of sacred music. Few? Then it is worth noting the highlight of the festival - the Mediterranean Book Fair!

Jumping into the river Moraca (Podgorica).
Many tourists come to Montenegro for other entertainments, more active and exciting. For such fans of adrenaline in Podgorica, a competition is held for jumping into the water from the medieval Vizyrov Bridge. This event is included in the World Cup calendar, so it is not surprising that it is very popular and is visited by many stars.

Music Festival "Solar Staircase" (Herceg Novi).
The next event, which will be good to visit for the connoisseurs of good music - is a music festival of young authors and performers "Solar Staircase". It takes place in Herceg Novi and is the second largest music festivals in Montenegro. The purpose of this event is to promote the musical potential of Montenegro, classical music in particular. The festival is loved by the stars of show business in Montenegro. They gladly supplement the holiday with their concert numbers and support novice artists.

Festival of amateur theaters in Montenegro (Bijelo Polje).
This is quite a well-known and attended event in Montenegro, where all the amateur theatrical groups of the country gather and play their performances. During those days, Bijelo Polje becomes the center of the theater life of the region.

2-10 July - International Theater Festival for Children (Kotor). 
For a children's audience in summer, cultural events are also planned in Montenegro. International theater performances for children will be held at this time in the open air on the territory of Old Town of Kotor. The favorable climate of this resort city allows you to conduct such activities in the open air for several days. In the beautiful atmosphere of the city, among the natural beauties, various performances will be shown for the younger audience. The festival gathers theatrical companies from all over the Balkan Peninsula and gladly demonstrates their talents to the youngest visitors of Kotor.

Cetinje cultural summer (Cetinje).
The program of the festival is very rich and includes various folklore exhibitions, concerts and theater productions, author's evenings and creative performances of artists of the genre, art exhibitions and other cultural events from Europe and from other countries of the former Yugoslavia. All events take place on summer stages, at the Balsic bazaar and in the Cetinje city park. The festival also features opera performances and classical music.

Kotor Art - Kotor summer fiesta (Kotor).
This is a very interesting festival of classical, spiritual, chamber and instrumental music, which is visited by lovers of beautiful music from all over Europe every year. At this time, numerous concerts are held in the churches and various concert halls of Kotor.

Summer scene (Ulcinj).
Local cultural and entertainment event, in which the summer venues of the Old Town of Ulcinj host concerts, performances and exhibitions. The purpose of this festival is to show the guests of the country the cultural and historical significance of Ulcinj.

22 July - Fashinada (Perast).
A traditional and amazing event, celebrated in July in Perast, a small town on the coast of Kotor Bay. This unique holiday for the entire Mediterranean coast is associated with the famous Perast icon of the Virgin, which on this day, in 1452, was found here, on a cliff in the middle of the sea, by one fisherman and brought to shore. As the legend says, in the morning the icon disappeared and miraculously reappeared on a cliff in the sea. Local residents decided to create a rocky mound around a lonely rock, on which the church "Gospa od Skrpela - Mother of God on a Rock" was subsequently erected.

To this day, every year on 22 July, at sunset, all men load stones into their boats and row to the small man-made island of Gospa od Skrpela, located not far from the shore. This incredible ritual procession, consisting of decorated boats, just need to see! Having approached to the island, locals throw stones into the water, remembering a wonderful find and simultaneously fortifying the man-made island, which is constantly eroded by the Adriatic Sea. Also, according to ancient custom, on the island in the late evening a fish dinner is prepared.

On the same day in Tivat, the regatta "Fasinada cup" is held, in which about one hundred large and small sailboats take part. Prizes are given to the winners, of course, on the island of Gospa od Skrpela.

International Fashion Festival (Kotor).
The Kotor fashion festival is an event of international importance, which lasts only two days and gathers designers from Montenegro and other European countries. The most popular, however, are outstanding Italian designers and their latest creations. During the event, there are demonstrations of the latest fashion collections from the most famous fashion makers from around the world. In addition, here you can meet many domestic and foreign journalists and celebrities. These days Kotor is a meeting place for businessmen, actors and owners of fashionable studios. At the festival there are shows of such brands as Dolce Gabanna, Pal Zileri, Prada, Armani, Ferre, Versace.

Car racing (Cetinje).
Mountain car racing is always a drive, adrenaline and enthusiastic audience. Automobile races in Montenegro take place on the mountain road Cetinje - Ivanova Korita (Mount Lovcen). They are attended by the fastest and sports cars, driven by outstanding racing drivers. The race track is 12200 meters in length and passes at an altitude of 610 meters above sea level. These races have a large number of fans, and it's no wonder that in 1981 it was recognized by the International Federation of Automobiles (FIA) and entered into their calendar. Races are broadcast live, which are watched every year by several thousand spectators.

Sports games on the summer pasture (Negusi, Cetinje).
Summer sports games in Montenegro are very popular both with local residents and numerous tourists who prefer active recreation. Some of these games are held in late July in the village of Negusi, near the town of Cetinje. In ancient times, the inhabitants gathered in the above-mentioned village to measure their strength, dexterity and endurance in ancient sports disciplines, such as long jumps, tug-of-war, high jump, throwing stone over the shoulder and horse races.
To this day, the inhabitants of this village pay tribute to the old traditions and each year compete among themselves in these sports.

Crnice sports games (Virpazar).
This is a competition on a variety of sports in the village of Virpazar, 40 km away from the coastal town of Bar. They are held only on weekends from mid-July to mid-August.

The Durmitor Ring (Zhabljak).
Cycling in the central part of Montenegro, on the territory of the Durmitor National Park, near the town of Zabljak.

Bokarskaya olympiad in bowling (Tivat).
For lovers of bowling in Montenegro, there are a number of events dedicated to this game. One of them is the Olympic bowling in Tivat, which gather participants from all the cities of Montenegro and even from abroad. In some open areas, tourists can show their skills. Usually this competition is held at the end of July and lasts about a month.

Days of Mrkojevici (Pecurica, Bar).
This is an entertaining event in the town of Pecurici, in Bar, which is held in the last week of July. During the holiday the guests get acquainted with the traditions, customs and cultural heritage of Bar community, and can also taste traditional Montenegrin cuisine. Also musical groups of Bar tape part in the festival.

Sailing regatta (Tivat).
Annual competitions, which are held in Kotor Bay for all lovers of sailing.

Entrance - festival of electronic music (Rozaje, Herceg Novi).
Festival of electronic music with the participation of leading European DJs, such as Beni Benassi and others. All participants, guests and tourists can become a part of this wonderful music extravaganza, get a lot of unforgettable impressions, and also enjoy stunning natural beauty.

01-31 August - Traditional Theater Festival Grad-Teather (Budva).
Festival "City-Theater" takes place in the popular city of Budva and for a whole month every day introduces tourists to local music and performances.

International Summer Carnival (Kotor).
Summer carnival in Kotor is held in early August. Like the winter, this holiday is designed for fun, entertainment and all kinds of celebrations in the streets and squares of the Old Town of Kotor. Kotor Carnival received the prestigious WBA Tourism Award for the best event in 2005 in Montenegro.

"Bokelska night" (Kotor).
One of the most famous holidays with tourists, during which there is a kind of parade of beautifully decorated boats. Boats cruise along the brightly lit harbor of Kotor. On land for several hours the holiday is accompanied by songs, dances and a festive atmosphere, and ends with a selection of the most beautifully decorated boat and fireworks.

FIAT- Festival of International Alternative Theater (Podgorica).
International Festival of Alternative Theaters, which is recognized as one of the best in Europe. This event is organized by the cultural and information center Budo Tomovic and theater enthusiasts from FIAT. Spectators can enjoy the plays of Beckett and Shakespeare, staged in an unusual manner. A noteworthy part of the holiday is the so-called "lunch at the mill".

After a five-year break FIAT returned to the cultural scene of the Montenegrin capital thanks to the financial support of Podgorica. This cultural event, which is famous for its modern theatrical expression, is held in September. During several days of activity FIAT revitalizes the city with original performances, so that its audience can appreciate the latest theatrical trends taking place in Europe. Experiments conducted by FIAT in several stages throughout the country, led to the fact that Montenegro has become a homogeneous cultural environment. Many generations of fans of the alternative theatrical concept remember the middle of the seventies on the first steps of DODEST, the eightieth years of FJAT and the nineties of FIAT performances. Over 30 years of DODEST, FJAT and FIAT, there has been a significant evolution of the Montenegrin experimental theater performance. A group of young people, enthusiasts, students wishing to change the world, fulfill their spiritual mission, gradually turning it into a completely different way of theatrical expression, as well as in a completely new movement that largely affects the culture. With the support of DODEST, generations of actors, directors, journalists with impeccable reputations were revealed. FIAT had the ability to move the city into some kind of irrational dimension with its theatrical ideas, experiments and playfulness. Streets, squares, abandoned spaces and buildings, people, who were passed by, and perplexed audience became part of one unusual theatrical experience. With FIAT, the first real international activity of the DODEST stage began. Outstanding groups of alternative artists from Europe and around the world began to come to Podgorica, and plays of Montenegrin production were presented at many international theater festivals. Years of activity of FIAT were marked by the achievements of so many personalities: directors, playwrights, actors, stage designers, costume designers, composers, producers, organizers and journalists. Each of them contributed to the reputation of FIAT.

Swimming Marathon (Bar).
Swimming in the distance Sutomore-Bar, in length of 5 km is held in August. Anyone can take part and experience their strength and endurance in the warm waters of the Adriatic Sea.

Port Cup (Bar).
Traditional women's volleyball tournament in the open air in Bar. Teams from Montenegro and Serbia take part in it.

Lastovsky holiday (Gornja Lastva, Tivat).
A traditional holiday, which takes place in August in the town of Gornja Lastva near the resort town of Tivat. The main holiday is held on the first Saturday of August and consists of various concert programs, where local songs and national dances are performed - the Lastva and Skadar round dances. Numerous domestic and foreign guests, as well as residents of Tivat who attend this event can enjoy listening to the original songs.

Jeep rally (Zabljak).
Racing competitions in the wild and insanely beautiful places of the Durmitor National Park. Throughout the route participants and spectators will be able to see the incredible natural beauty of this mountain range.

Bedem fest (Niksic).
"Bedem Fest" is a summer festival of alternative art that takes place in the fortress of Bedem, Niksic. It is a young but promising project located in a wonderful place - in the old town of Niksic, which has survived to our days after the old Turkic empire.

Fish Night (Ulcinj).
Night fishing is a kind of tourist holiday, whose program is mostly held on the beach of Ulcinj. Fishing night, which takes place in Ulcinj in August, gathers hundreds of visitors every year. All of them have a great time, enjoying all sorts of fish dishes, wine and a rich cultural and entertainment program, accompanied by traditional folklore dances and performances of pop bands.

Memorial swimming marathon after Mario and Dido Marici (Herceg Novi).
Traditional competitions of swimmers at the distance of Janica-Igalo. They are dedicated to the memory of two famous local athletes, who in 1890 took part in the creation and promotion of this event.

Tivat cultural summer (Tivat).
The most significant cultural event in Tivat, which takes place in summer (from early July to mid or even to the end of August). It is attended by many local groups, as well as foreign guests. All visitors can see very good performances and shows on the open summer stage, which is located in the resort town of Buca near Tivat.

International Festival of Tambourine Orchestras (Bijelo Polje).
This is quite an interesting event, at which orchestras from all over Europe gather and demonstrate their skills in city streets and squares. After the concerts the communication continues in local restaurants and cafes, where the musicians play already for themselves and for the visitors there.

International Festival of Clapper Music (Perast).
The music festival takes place in the end of August in Perast, near Kotor. Such music is a special kind of musical expression, that is singing, which is typical for the areas of the South Adriatic. The festival of clapper singing is attended by groups from Croatia and Montenegro.

Modus moda vivendi (Tivat).
The annual two-day festival gathers a lot of fashion designers, fashion fans, and tourists who know a lot about fashion. This festival received high marks from world fashion critics and experts, which contributes to its constant development and popularization.

Day of Ratkovic poetry (Bijelo Pole).
The main and the biggest festival of poetry, dedicated to the famous poet of Montenegro of the twentieth century - Risto Ratkovich. Hundreds of poets from different regions gather annually this day to become a part of this event. Especially important is the fact that it serves as a springboard for the literary creativity of many young and talented poets of this region.

Film Festival in Herceg Novi.
One of the largest festivals of feature and documentary films in Montenegro and Serbia.

Cetinje Biennale (Cetinje).
A prestigious exhibition of contemporary art that gathers authors, performers and critics from over the world. This is a very important cultural event for both Cetinje and Montenegro. The exhibition takes place every two years, starting from 1990 and eventually evolved into the International Biennale of Contemporary Art. Here come many well-known in their circles people to enjoy the beauty of this city and to present their work. Within the framework of the cultural program, there are various art exhibitions and numerous performances there.

Petrovac night (Petrovac).
When the summer comes to its logical conclusion, the holidays do not end, despite the large number of festivals, events, fashion shows, exhibitions and concerts, people in Montenegro are arranging more and more holidays for the soul. On the last day off in August in all cities of the coast is a large-scale procession that bears the beautiful name of "Petrovac Night." Wine and fish are the main products on the table on this holiday. This night all the cities come to life, and people walk and enjoy the last summer days of this beautiful time.

Why the night of Petrovac? Petrovac is a small romantic town on the coast of Montenegro, where the main holiday is held. Here, visitors can enjoy free specialties from seafood on the grill, tasting beer and wine under good, soulful music until the dawn. On this day Petrovac literally teems with guests. In the evening everyone can come to the concert of the famous performers, and at the end watch a stunning firework in the background of the Adriatic Sea and the illuminated fortress of Castello.

28 August - Day of the declaration of Montenegro as a kingdom.
In Montenegro, 28 August is also celebrated as the establishment of the country as a kingdom. In the period from 1515 to 1851 Montenegro was under the rule of spiritual leaders. Having come to power, Danilo I renounced his spiritual dignity and preferred to be a secular leader. After his assassination in 1860, on 28 August Nicholas I ascended the throne and became the sole king of Montenegro, having transformed the principality into a kingdom. In this form, the state existed until 13 November, 1918, after which it became a part of the new Kingdom. There were also Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and the former king successfully emigrated. And although 28 August is not a state holiday, it is celebrated throughout the country until now. Besides historical festivals, there are song concerts, charity events and fairs with historical symbols there.

Please pay attention: the dates of some holidays from year to year remain unchanged, most of them change, and often this is due to weather conditions. Find out the exact dates of carrying out through our feedback form, in the city's tourist organization or in the community.


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