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Spring procession of Ljelje/Kraljice (queens) from Gorjani

UNESCO: Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity - 2009 URL: Description: The Procession of Queens is performed by the young girls of the village of Gorjani in the Slavonia region of north-east Croatia every spring. The girls in a group are divided into ten ''kraljevi'' (kings), who wear sabres and mens hats, and about five ''kraljice'' (queens), who wear white garlands on their heads like brides. On Whitsunday (a feast in the Christian calendar), they process from house to house, performing for the families they encounter. While the kings dance with their sabres, the queens comment on the dance in song. The family then joins in a larger folk dance and provides refreshments before the girls continue to another house. The next day, the party visits a neighbouring town or village and returns for a feast at one of the performers homes. The entire community, including the elementary school, the church and many of the towns families, assist in the preparations for the procession, which is a source of particular pride for the women who have participated in it. Although the meaning and origin of the ritual are uncertain, villagers view it as a symbol of Gorjani and a showcase for their childrens beauty and elegance. Country(ies): Croatia ? 2008 by Ministry of Culture
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