The mainland of Hvar and the landscape is especially beautiful in some old villages and small towns such as Gornja Prapratna, Zagradace, Humac, Prilozi, Maslinovik, Jurkov Dolac, Rasnik, Zablace, and Malo Grablje. Some of them were made to be cottages for shepherds on the eastern and south sides of the island. Tourist can enoy folk architecture and admire the old household objects which can still be found in some houses.
customs, the most interesting are island processions during Holy Week,
especially the procession "za Križem" (behind the Cross) which
takes place at night from Maunday Thursday to Good Friday in the circle of five
parishes: Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik Svirče, Vrbanj and Vrboska. It began as a
penitent's procession after the miracle in 1510 when tears of blood were shed
from the small Cross in Hvar, during the tensions between the patricians and the
plebeians before these lat ter revolted. The processions from ali six parish
churches begin at exactly midnight (lasting for eight hours) in the direction of
the sun's circle, so that they do not meet each other, as this would be a sign
of misfortune according to popular belief. The road from one church to the other
is lit by burning balls of ashes or sponges soaked in paraffin oil, while the
windows of the houses are lit by candles and other lighting. The selected
bearers of the cross lead the processions, barefoot and dressed in white tunics
like all other brotherhood members. It is a great honour to carry the cross, so
that those who carry it must prepare the Wedding feast of Our Lord on Easter
Monday. The choir sing in procession the im pressive melodious song "Crying of
Our Lady" from the 15th century. The priests only see depart and receive the
processions at their destinations.
One of the most famous folk products on the island of
Hvar is "Queen's wash", the pure distillation of rosemary oil
which was recommended by travel writers from the 19th century for gargling the
throat and against scurvy. The more massive production of rose mary began at the
end of the 17th and at the beginning of the 18th centuries, most probably in
There was even a Rosemary Cooperative in Grablje at the end of the 19th century.
There is a panegyric to rosemary from 1796 in the Hektorović family archives in Stari Grad:
We cook the leaves in pure white wine and then we clean our face, eyebrows and beard with it and then our hair will never fall but it will grow even more, and the face will remain bright... Leaves in the bed will scare away bad dreams, and maybe even cure cancer... It drives away harmful insects, removes the swelling of legs... If you plant it on your land, your fruits will be multiplied, and all the region will enjoy delight."
The distillate and also leaves later on were exported
to Germany, New York, and even Brasil. The oil of marjoram is also very
appreciated for massaging rheumatic joints.
Hvar is not only the "home land of rosemary and queen's wash", but also the island of the pink fields of lavender. From the first three twigs found in Veli Grabalj, this aromatic plant of exceptional quality developed ali over the fields of Hvar.The lavender oil is used for destroying moths and for the production of perfume and lotion. It blossoms in June, July, and August, and the medical part of the plant are flowers which should be picked as soon as they blossom.
Well-known are Hvar cakes too,
especially the pepper cakes from Stari Grad. The poet Hektorović mentioned in
his "Fishing" this traditional cake of Hvar. The essential component was saffron
which was a very important product of the island in the 16th century, together
with honey - and also coriander, an antiseptic and the component of numerous