CHIVALRIC TOURNAMENT AT THE ISLAND RAB AND RAB MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL

 

 

Like a number of other other historical customs and events, the old Rab's tournament that was first performed I
n 14. ct. after Rab came under the Louis I D'Anjou or Louis the Great,132682, King of Hungary (134282) 
and of Poland (137082. Louis the Great was celebrated at the time as Rab liberator from the Venitian rule so
the games were initiated in his honor. 
On 21.07.1364 the Grand Council of Rab declared two public holidays: on Dies Victoriae ( 09.05. - celebrating 
liberation from the Normans in 1075 -- see St. Christopher's miracles) and Dies Natalis ( for the patron's  day 
- St. Christopher 25.07.). In medieval times these were the most important celebrations that lasted 
for a whole week.

Revived games have been brought back to life again in 1995. And the tournament became the central attraction of the cultural events on the island.

The main feature of the Rab's tournament is the ancient cross-bow that is, except here, found only in Republica di San Marino, and is used by "balestrieri" e.g.. archers in their famous tournament.
Nowdays Rab's  Games are held as replica of the times ago, in remembrance of an occasion in the Middle Ages, when the cross-bow played an important role in defending the town during the siege.

The Games are held on St. Christopher's square, before the Town medieval gates. The Games are opened by the Prince ( usually the Major), with the town's flag hoisted on the mast and the  sounds of fanfares..
At the sign of the honourable judge the knights start their competition by predefined order.
The winner is the competitor whose arrow hits the point nearest to the centre of the target. The Rab Prince proclaims the winner of the Games and hands the prize "Felix" to him.
The Rab Games conclude with the medieval dances and with the march of all the participants through the town's streets.

The tournaments have grown to attractive events, drawing many to visit island specially for those occasions.

Dates: 09.05.; 25.06.; 27.07.; 15.08.;

 

RAB MEDIEVAL FEST

Recently festivities during Dies Natalis have been broadened to include the Medieval festival of crafts and customs. This open air  festival is held on the streets of the oldest part in town - Kaldanac, where besides islanders participate also the friend from Montegardino - Republica di San Marino.
Visitors can enjoy ( and participate) in traditional crafts; pottery, painting, fishing, coinage, stitching, basket weaving, carpentry, sculpting or learn the secrets of trade from the florists, honey makers, herbalists or even from the cross-bow archers who are happy to explain the technique and the history of the crossbow. In gallery PIK one can see the traditional medieval household; women rippling wool, weaving, grain grinding, bread making and hear traditional gang song. The streets are run over with ladies, gentleness, medieval guards with prisoners and the festival culminates with tournament and the fireworks on the last evening.

Present day Fjera has been modeled after the historical holidays, but has been shortened to only 3 days celebration in comparison to a whole week Fjera in the middle ages. Rab's Fjera started only 4 years ago (2002) after a decade of work of Rab's Crossbow society. During these 3 days ( 25, 25th & 27th July) people dress up in costumes and have open air workshops of the "medieval life"...
Visitors can see traditional crafts; pottery, painting, fishing, coinage, stitching, basket weaving, carpentry, sculpting or learn the secrets of trade from the florists, honey makers, herbalists or even from the cross-bow archers who will explain the technique and the history of the crossbow. In a small gallery just off the square on the Upper street one can see the traditional island household from the past; women rippling wool, weaving, grain grinding, bread making and hear traditional gang song. If you never heard those, you might get hypnotised... Bellow the town is held a fisherman's and pirates party and at the same time the streets are run over with ladies, gentleness, medieval guards with prisoners, knights...The festival culminates with the parade and the crossbow archers tournament on the St. Christopher's square and the fireworks.

Festival as such is still in experimental phase. Participants are people of Rab and their friends from abroad: Koenigsbrun and Republic of San Marino: Rab's  friendship towns. Two knights and a lady with their performance from Koenigsbrun and of course, the whole troup from Rep. di San Marino and Monte Giardino // archers, flagsmen, gents, craftsmen, musicians  toghether with the folks and gents from Rab, make an impressive event. Guests are also welcome to dress up and join.
 

 Recently festivities Dies Natalis have been broadened to include the Medieval festival of crafts and customs.
This open air  festival is held on the streets of the oldest part in town - Kaldanac. Main participants are
the islanders and from Koenigsbrun and Montegiardino in Republic of San Marino: Rab's  friendship towns.
Their archers, flagsmen, gents, craftsmen, musicians  toghether with the archers, gents and ladies, craftsmen and folks from Rab make an
joyfull event. Guests are also encouraged to dress up and join.

Festival visitors can see traditional crafts; pottery, painting, fishing, coinage, stitching, basket weaving,
carpentry, sculpting or learn the secrets of trade from the florists, honey makers, herbalists or the cross-bow
archers who will explain the technique and the history of the crossbow.
In gallery PIK is the traditional medieval household; women rippling wool, weaving, grain grinding, bread
making seasoned with the traditional gang singing. At the same time the streets are run over with ladies, gentleness, medieval guards with prisoners and other intersting groups ( for expl. the leppers). Bellow the town is held a fisherman's and pirates party.

Present day Fjera has been modeled after the historical holidays, but has been shortened to only 3 days
celebration in comparison to a whole week Fjera in the middle ages. Rab's Fjera started in 2002 after a decade
of work of Rab's Crossbow society. The festival starts with the parade and traditional opening and culminates the last evening with the crossbow archers tournament on the St. Christopher's square
and the fireworks.
 
 
 
 

See photo albums of the events here:

- Tournament and Medieval Festival 2002-2003
- Crossbow tournament May 2004


Sign Rapska Fjera Guestbook

- Fjera website
- Crossbowmen Guild


 


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