The annual feast day of St Domnius, the ancient martyr of Salona and the patron saint of Split, will take place on May 7.
Saint Domnius (known locally as Saint Dujam or Saint Duje) was a late third century Bishop of Salona (the present-day Solin). Born in the ancient city of Antioch, in modern-day Turkey, but historically in Syria, Domnius was one of the numerous easterners who contributed to the spread of Christianity in the western lands of the Roman Empire. During one the last great persecutions of Christians, St Domnius was beheaded in the Salonitan amphitheater in the year 304 AD, ironically, during the reign of Split’s founding father, Emperor Diocletian. Domnius’ remains were originally interred in the basilica at Manastirine, not far from the northern walls of ancient Salona. There they rested for centuries, before in the early Middle Ages his remains were transferred to the cathedral of Split, where they remain to this day.
Today the feast day of St Domnius is celebrated by the opening of St Domnius’ relinquish by the Archbishop of Split and Makarska in Split’s cathedral before the evening mass at 18:30.
The solemn procession in honor of the cathedral will start at 10:00 in the morning of May 7. The traditional procession will start at the cathedral after which the reliquary bust of St Domnius will be carried by the procession to the temporary altar at the eastern end of Riva Promenade where a mass will be held in honor of the saint and his feast day.
Apart from the religious ceremony, the feast day of St Domnius features a traditional fair that takes place at Riva Promenade and which will be held for two days, on May 6 and 7.
The other popular annual event that takes place on the feast day of St Domnius is the traditional game of ‘tombola’, similar to ‘bingo’, that is scheduled to take place at Riva Promenade at 17:30. The event draws huge local crowds and offers substantial prizes for the winners, though the drawn numbers are read only in Croatian.
Following tombola, there will be a series of live musical performances, first by ‘tamburica’ orchestras scheduled at 19:30 and, from 21:00 onward, a series of local pop music artists like Klapa Cambi, Goran Karan and Tedi Spalato.
After the two pandemic years, the feast day of St Domnius is expected to finally be celebrated without epidemiological restrictions and will likely draw huge crowds of locals and tourists alike, so don’t miss your opportunity to experience the busy crowds and festive atmosphere of one of Split’s main public events of the year.