500 years of International Carnival in Kotor

Katarina Kalicanin | Live the World

November 23, 2022

During the summertime, the Montenegrin coast hosts an incredible number of cultural events and happenings. Kotor, as one of the leading cities, has a long tradition of hosting different festivals and one of the most interesting ones is the colorful International Summer Carnival, organized in the first weeks of August. During the four-day-long event program, the visitors enjoy the concerts, gastronomy fest and a number of small events which all precede the International Parade – the largest event held on the last night of the Carnival.

During the International Summer Carnival, already lively streets of Kotor become even louder and crowded with the performers, tourists and locals. This event hosts not only domestic performers, but also a lot of international carnival groups. This year, Kotor celebrated 500 years of International Carnival.

4-day program

Every year, the opening of the Carnival starts in the morning at Saint Tryphon Square with the ceremonial raising of the Kotor’s flag, which is followed by a small concert. Usually, on the first day, the gastronomy event takes place – i.e. Fisherman’s Fest where visitors can try different kinds of fish, local food and enjoy the national wine. From the second day on, every night has its own leading event with a different theme. Some of the events are created for children – theater plays, concerts, workshops, etc. In addition, throughout the town, there are a lot of small events and concerts organized to enrich the tourist offer of the city.

The International Summer Carnival Parade

On the last day, the Carnival hosts the largest event – The International Summer Carnival Parade. Local and international carnival groups with their great masks are performing in front of the audience and interact with people while walking. The carnival procession starts around 9 PM from the main road of Kotor, and the walk continues along the street all the way to the Old Town, where at the end of the procession the party continues all night long. Cafes and bars are full of people, and loud festive music is on every corner.

500-year-long tradition

Kotor has a long tradition of organizing events like this. 2018 is the year of the 500th Carnival Jubilee. Originally, the carnival is held every year in February, like anywhere else in Europe, but in order to give the opportunity to more tourists to witness and participate in such an important and culturally valuable fest, the Municipality of Kotor has created a summer edition of the Carnival. It all started 17 years ago, and since then it became a very popular event that attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Thanks to 500-year-long tradition of International Carnival in Kotor, it's sumer edition** **has all the characteristics of a great international festival and all of the events organized during these four carnival days guarantee an amazing experience, lot of fun and an interesting encounter with the Montenegrin tradition.

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