July 21, 2020 - The traditional "Fašinada" event will be held also this year, but following counter- COVID-19 rules. It is to be held this Wednesday, July 22, for the 569th time. The ornate boats from Perast will set sail for the island of Our Lady of Rocks before sunset, at 6.30 pm.
"This year, due to the current coronavirus situation, the Fašinada will be held in more unusual conditions as we have to maintain distance between people in boats. There will be four people in the first boat; we have provided a boat 10 meters long to ensure the distance prescribed by the National Coordination Body's measures. The second boat with singers will be subject to the same regulations. Due to social distancing, there will be a maximum of two people in the other boats. This year we do not expect a big crowd due to a much smaller number of tourists compared to previous years," said Perast parish priest Don Srećko Majić to Boka News.
Fašinada - a tradition that has never been interrupted
The Fašinada is a tradition that has never been interrupted and has the characteristics of both a religious and tourist event, being a custom that you can not see or experience anywhere in the Mediterranean," said Don Srećko Majić.
Legend has it that Perast fishers found the icon of the Our Lady with Christ on the rock (which is today on the main altar) and decided to immerse stones and shipwrecks to build an island and church dedicated to Our Lady of the Rock. Since then, the unwritten vow of Perast sailors is to immerse new rocks around the island before each trip out to sea, contributing to the strength of the base of the temple of their patron saint.
It is probably for that reason that Fašinada was created. The event is named after the Italian word "fascia," which means ribbon or bandage. It is so-called because the convoy of boats, decorated with tree branches and filled with stones, is linked in a chain. Only the pastor and men are in the boats, being the ancestors of famous sailors and more prominent Perastans, while women greet them from the shore.
Every year on July 22, at sunset, a convoy of boats goes to the island to fulfill their ancestors' legacy by throwing stones around the island. The island with the original church was built at the end of the 15th century. The church expanded following the changes in the island's dimensions. Today's church was built in 1630 and is one of Boka's most important historical and cultural monuments.
Fašinada, Photo Boka News