Pag Town is the venue for two carnivals, the first an authentic local event immediately before Lent, the second on the last Saturday in July, a re-enactment of the first for the benefit of tourists. Both feature parades and a good deal of folk music and traditional dancing, and the pre-lenten carnival culminates with the burning of the effigy known as Marko, whose ritual death is claimed to rid the community of all the bad things that have happened over the previous year. Both carnivals traditionally featured performances of Paška robinja (Slave Girl of Pag), a play of Renaissance origins concerning a captive of the Turks who is purchased and freed by a good Christian knight. Made up of rhyming couplets delivered in a monotone, it’s nowadays considered too boring for the average audience, and is no longer performed every year.

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