Unique festival celebrates legendary victory over pirates in Croatia
Carnival festivities on a remote Croatian island of Lastov celebrates a legendary victory over attacking pirates. The colour, beauty and pageantry of the remote Croatian Adriatic island is seen in all its glory on Shrove Tuesday as locals celebrate carnival. Including the unique custom of sending a puppet sliding down a rope with petards exploding at its feet. The tradition, which survived to this day since at least the 16th century, is based on a legendary story of a successful defence of the island against a pirate attack. The islanders cherish their unique custom and many see it as essential to their identity. The festivities on Lastovo last all day, with boys and men dressed in traditional costumes and armed with wooden swords joining a procession. The men then perform a traditional dance with swords on the main square, before the puppet is stripped down and ceremonially burned.