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What is Cres Semenj? Activities, Music, and Culture on Cres Island


Why Should You Visit Cres Semenj?

Every year in August, the town of Cres comes alive with the rhythm of tradition, flavors, and entertainment during the Cres Semenj festival. This event takes place from August 5th to 7th and represents the peak of the summer events on the island. Visitors have the opportunity to stroll through the beautiful streets and alleys of Cres, exploring the island’s rich history and tradition and enjoying a variety of musical events. Cres Semenj, whose roots date back to the year 1543, represents a rich tradition of the fair on the island of Cres. The name “Semenj” is a local dialect expression meaning fair, and this event is traditionally associated with the celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of the Snow, to which the parish church of Cres is dedicated. It was first mentioned in a decree of the Republic of Venice on August 14, 1543, when it lasted an entire week, and all goods brought to Cres for sale were exempt from taxes.

Kula Cres, Cres Semenj

Table of contents

Open Table of contents

Exhibitions and Fairs

One of the highlights of the event are the interesting outdoor exhibitions that display the cultural heritage of Cres. Through various presentations, visitors can delve deeper into the island’s past and acquaint themselves with its unique identity.

Main Harbor, Cres Semenj

The fair of indigenous products is a real treat for lovers of local food and souvenirs. At stands set up along the streets and shops of Cres, local producers of indigenous products from the island present their unique products, and guests from different parts of Croatia also use the opportunity to exhibit. Visitors have the chance to taste not only Cres olive oil but also Slavonian kulen, Krk cheese, Istrian truffles, and they can decide to buy various handicrafts made of wool, leather, or wood, original jewelry, and art works. Visitors can also try traditional dishes that reflect the authentic taste of this region. With Cres specialties, the festival becomes a true gastronomic experience.

Setaliste, Cres Semenj

Musical Events

The Semenj on Cres not only celebrates the tradition and authenticity of the island but also creates a platform for a diversity of musical expressions. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of musical genres, from traditional tunes by local performers to contemporary hits by famous Croatian musicians. During this festival, music becomes an integral part of the Semenj experience, further enriching the already colorful palette of cultural experiences on the beautiful island of Cres. Local musicians, proud representatives of the Cres music scene, contribute to the festival atmosphere by performing authentic melodies that reflect the spirit of the island.

Singing, Cres Semenj

The magical vocals of Cres choirs “Teha” and “Burin” traditionally create a unique atmosphere that reflects the spirit of the place. In addition to local musicians, the Semenj on Cres has the honor of hosting famous Croatian performers whose music further enriches the festival experience. Performances by famous bands, singers, and music groups are often the highlight of the musical program, attracting music lovers from the entire region.

Social Activities and Competitions

This festival is an opportunity for the community to come together through various activities that promote mutual connection and fun. Visitors of all ages can enjoy various dynamic competitions characterized by a competitive yet friendly atmosphere. During Semenj, traditional card games such as briškula and trešeta, as well as chess, are held in the streets of Cres. If you are by the sea, you can watch a fishing competition or an exciting sailing regatta. If you prefer team sports, you can enjoy a basketball tournament at the school playground, while a bocce competition takes place at the bocce court. The highlight of the competitions is the Cres tombola. This game of chance brings together people of different generations and invites them to a shared experience of excitement and anticipation. The tombola often has a charitable character, contributing to the community in multiple ways.

Museum, Cres Semenj


Semenj on Cres thus becomes an unmissable event that connects the past, present, and future of this beautiful island. Discover the charms of Cres tradition, enjoy local delicacies, participate in various activities, and immerse yourself in the rhythm of fun in the streets of Cres.