Festivity of Saint Tryphon and the Kolo (chain dance) of Saint Tryphon, traditions of Croats from Boka Kotorska (Bay of Kotor) who live in the Republic of Croatia


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Inscribed in 2022 (17.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© Ministry of Culture and Media, Croatia, 2021

The Festivity of Saint Tryphon and the Kolo (chain dance) of Saint Tryphon are centred around two main annual events: the Feast Day of St. Tryphon (3 February) and the Boka Nights. The Kolo, performed by members of the Boka Navy dressed in traditional uniform, is the most visible cultural aspect of the festivity. Bearers of this tradition meet throughout February and March in every city where the Boka Navy is situated. Known as Boka Nights, these gatherings present the cultural heritage of Boka Croats to the Croatian public. The festivity stems from the cult of Saint Tryphon. His remains were taken to Kotor in 809, and he has been worshipped as the patron saint of Kotor, the Diocese of Kotor, and the Boka Navy ever since. Members of the community are involved in the preparation and maintenance of costumes and learn about typical Boka recipes. Knowledge of the broader historical and cultural context of Boka Croats and their patron saint is also transmitted through exhibitions, public lectures, cultural evenings and events.