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From the Red Coral to the Olive Tree: Do you Know These Dubrovnik Superstitions? Canva

From the Red Coral to the Olive Tree: Do you Know These Dubrovnik Superstitions?

Written by  The Dubrovnik Times Nov 10, 2023

No matter where you go in the world, you’re going to encounter superstitions. These often inexplicable beliefs date back thousands of years in some cases and have been passed down through generations.

Croatia is home to many of its own quirky customs and traditions, and Dubrovnik is one of the best places to encounter them. Do you know about the Red Coral or the Blue Eye? How about the blessing of the olive tree? Here are some Croatian traditions that aren't so well known around the world.

How Superstitious Are the People of Dubrovnik?

As far as superstitious places go, Dubrovnik is up there with some of the highest. A vast proportion of people here are prone to a superstition or two, with the avoidance of the number 13 being a common one. There are also certain objects that are considered lucky, such as the morčić symbol.

Certain pastimes associated with fortune are popular in Dubrovnik and beyond, perhaps because of the common belief in luck and special items. There are plenty of popular card games that employ a blend of chance and skill, such as Briškula and Trešeta. If playing in person isn't an option, a popular alternative is finding online casino sites with games of chance through comparison sites that guide players to the best casino offers. These include free spins on slot games after mobile verification and Skywind Must Win Jackpots. Players who enjoy these random games of chance may have a stronger belief in the concept of luck.

The Red Coral and the Blue Eye

Many people living in Croatia will have heard of the power of the red coral. One of the beliefs in the country is that the red coral has powerful protective qualities and can ward off the evil eye, otherwise known as zlo oko. That’s why it’s a frequent feature of necklaces and bracelets, as these jewelry items are said to protect the wearer from negative energy and envy. The concept can be traced back to Mediterranean culture and its strong effect on the Croatian people.

The red coral isn’t the only way that the people of Croatia protect against the so-called "evil eye". Another practice that you’ll notice if you stroll around the harbor is that a lot of fishing boats are adorned with a large blue eye. This stems from ancient folklore and is said to deflect negative energy and ill intentions. People who trawl the oceans for a living want lucky to keep them safe and bring them bountiful hauls, so it’s not surprising to see them turning to superstitious symbols.

The Olive Tree’s Blessing and the Miraculous St. Blaise

You may have noticed that there’s an abundance of olive trees around Dubrovnik, and there’s a good reason for that. They’re not only useful for their bounty of olives but they are also believed to hold protective powers. Universally, the olive branch may be known as a symbol of peace, but in Croatia, it goes beyond that and can act as a talisman against negative influences.

Saint Blaise is the patron saint of Dubrovnik, and he is celebrated every year on February 3 with a procession and festivities. Many people believe that the saint protects the city from harm, and his likeness is found throughout the metropolis in various statues.

To people from outside Croatia, some of these superstitions may seem strange. However, they hold a deep meaning with many of the residents here. These beliefs have been passed down over the centuries, and it would seem odd to start questioning them now. It’s better to just stick to them and hope that they do provide some luck.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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