If you’re a fan of festivals, then you’ve made the right decision for your vacation, as numerous celebrations take place all over Montenegro every month. Events here are based on religious occasions, beloved folk traditions of music and dance and the changing of the seasons. Two of the favorites are the Kotor Carnival and the Mimosa Festival.
St Tryphon Festival
This February religious event in Kotor commemorates the martyrdom of the popular saint with processions, church services and folk performances in front of the cathedral.
Kotor Carnival is one of the liveliest festivals in Montenegro, kicking off every February with masked balls for adults and children. Theaters put on traditional shows, concerts are held in the streets and venues, restaurants offer special menus, and the streets throng with costumed revelers enjoying performers, fireworks and parades. Another similar carnival is held in Kotor every August.
The Mimosa Festival, held all over Montenegro in February/March, celebrates the coming of spring with the appearance of the first fragrant, yellow mimosa blossoms. The event lasts for several weeks with fine art exhibitions, traditional and modern theater, music and dance, and street fun. Flower shows are a highlight, and costumed girls holding branches of the flowing shrub travel between towns to visit friends and relatives.
Orthodox Easter falls on average two weeks later than in Catholic and Protestant countries, with Holy Week usually held in late April. Processions carrying images of Christ and local saints wind around the streets to the churches and cathedrals, and candlelit services draw huge crowds.
Music of the Summer
This iconic event is held in Budva over the four summer months, beginning in June to celebrate the traditional musical heritage of Montenegro in all its forms from brass bands to vocal groups, traditional ensembles and more. The concerts are held in various venues, often in the open air main squares, and is welcomed by a huge musical parade to the Old Town to the Square of Poets.
Kotor International Fashion Festival
Another Montenegrin event popular with visitors is July’s International Fashion Festival, held annually in Kotor over several days. Top designers from the Balkan nations and the rest of the world attend to share their designs with fashion-forward locals.
Perast Music Festival
Held in the charming town of Perast, the annual Montenegro music festival takes place every August, and is a focus for internationally-known singers, musicians, instrumentalists, and orchestras. Concerts are held in venues all over town, and the event attracts a large number of overseas visitors.
Gornja Lastva Fiesta
Gornja Lastva is a tiny village near Tivat, known for its August fiesta week dedicated to the preservation of traditional musical and dance in Montenegro. Balkan circle dancing and unique klapa male a-capella songs are the heart of the festival and the iconic Clapper music and other traditional Lastva folk songs draw visitors from Tivat and overseas.
Orthodox Christmas falls at the end of the first week of January, and is a family-oriented time for church visits, celebrations with friends and carolling in the streets. Special meals are prepared, homes are decorated and gifts are given.
New Year’s Eve
New Year celebrations on Montenegro begin on December 31 and end on January 2 so you’ve got plenty of time to welcome in the new year with Montenegrin friends. Everything from street parties and entertainment to the traditional fireworks displays, concerts and other events are held, and hotels and restaurants host special events and parties.