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Alka Sinj 2019 – Event Guide by Bolt Travel

Published on 30/07/2019 by Jozo Suton
Alka Sinj

Visit the traditional Alka Sinj Tournament held every year on the first Sunday of August in the small town of Sinj in Croatia. This year, the tournament starts on 4th August at 4:30 PM. Enjoy a great time and watch the contestants ride themselves to victory and the never-ending glory.

Alka Sinj Tournament

Alka is a medieval costumed equestrian competition which is held annually on the first Sunday of August in the small town of Sinj in Croatia since 1715 as a way to celebrate the victory of a small Croatian-Venetian army against the enormous army of the Ottoman empire. This year, Alka is being held on the 4th of August 2019 at 4:30 PM.

In 2010, Alka was inscribed to the UNESCO’s world intangible heritage list due to the fact that it is one of the few knightly competitions which are held regularly.

Alka Sinj - Horseman (Alkar) Galloping to the Alka Ring
Alka Sinj – Horseman (Alkar) Galloping to the Alka Ring

The contestants called “Alkari” ride their horses in full gallop down the race track while trying to hit the steel alka ring with their spears.

Alka Sinj Tournament - Alka Ring
Alka Sinj Tournament – Alka Ring

The main goal of an Alkar is to gain as many points as possible in three races. Depending on which part of the alka ring they hit with their spear, they can gain 1, 2 or 3 points. 1 point being one of the two lower holes of the ring, 2 points being the upper hole of the ring and 3 points being the middle hole of the alka ring.

The Alka competition opens with a ceremonial procession accompanied by drummers and a brass band.

Only men born in the region of Cetina (whose parents were also born there) can take part in this manifestation as an Alkar. Before becoming an Alkar they also have to be a member of the Alka Knights Society in Sinj.

Just before Alka there are two more races – Bara (two days before Alka) and Čoja (one day before Alka) which are held in the same way as Alka but the crucial difference is that the competitors wear traditional festive uniforms (the same as those which were worn by the soldiers in the 18th century) only at Alka.

Category: Blog, Events

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