The valorisation of intangible cultural heritage, oral tradition and folk beliefs is the primary goal of “Štrigariji”. The results of this intriguing and controversial manifestation include promotion of cultural diversity, promotion of previously undiscovered parts of Žminj and is considered to be an additional motive for visiting Žminj and broadening its tourist offer.
Its programme attracts many families with children and on this occasion Žminj’s public lighting is completely turned off. To set the mood, the streets are decorated with lanterns, torches and a bonfire. Sitting by the fire, the stories of witches and other local mythical creatures are being narrated by Aleksandar Bančić, the director who transformed Milica Kranjčić’s book “Libar od polnoći” into a theatrical play “Štuorice od polnoći”. Namely, with the appearance of electricity and TV devices, the custom of family gatherings around fireplaces faded away and the old almost forgotten stories are now brought back by this manifestation.
On this occasion, the old tower’s witch shares her tips on how to behave when one praises you unexpectedly, but also predicts one’s fate, removes enchantments and black magic, mixes various herbs and potions and scares her guests. And it is precisely the old Žminj’s Tower, witch’s home for one night, that undergoes a real transformation on this day. Namely, the 3D mapping technique delivered by Pula’s Visualia, offers innovative and scary scenes, such as the demolition of the tower. Visitors were able to take part in several organized interpretative tours through the old town’s scary streets, which are full of secrets and unexpected creatures. Authenticity of the event is put in the foreground and ethno-group Veja contributes by its traditional interpretations connected to the manifestation.
Žminj’s old cinema hall features a documentary film “Medežija kontra štrigarija”, filmed also in Žminj, where the storytellers narrate local folk beliefs and talk about all the different kinds of mythical creatures that are transforming into animal shapes and scare people during the night. Guests are also invited to try out their special magic potions and cookies. “Štrigarije” are today branded as an innovative Žminj’s tourist product that educates, entertains, scares and amazes its guests of the importance of the intangible treasure that abounds in this part of Istria.