numerous historical events, the inhabitants of Rab have reintroduced
the old knights games, established in Rab as far back as
1364. Since their reintroduction in 1995 the games have become
the central cultural event of this island.
knights' competition is receded by a medieval ceremony, announced
the day before by a herald by means of proclamation and drums.
The ceremony starts in the overcrowded town with the arrival
of the Prince and his escort to the town loggia where they are
welcomed by cross-bowers, musicians and ensigns.
by strong drum beating, by the sound of fanfares and bell-
ringing the participants pass through the streets of the
town towards the Cathedral, to get the blessing. On St.
Christopher's square, before the Town gates, the Games
are solemnly opened by the Prince.
antique cross-bow - nowadays still used only by the "balestrieri" from
San Marino in their games - is a peculiarity of the Rab
knights games. In the Middle Ages it was used by the Rab
people to defend their town from attackers , so that the
games were introduced in honour of this defence and of their
patron, St. Christopher.
They games used to be held twice a year: on May 9 (Dies Victoriae)
and on July 27 (Dies Natalis). These were the biggest celebrations
which lasted for seven full days. The re-established games
are also held on May 30 and July 27, while a solemn march-past
in the town is organised on Assumption day, too. On these
occasions Rab offers to its visitors a whole series of programs
town's flag is hoisted on the mast accompanied by sound of fanfares
and at the sign of the "honourable judge" the knights
start their competition. By predefined order twelve knights draw
the cross-bow, directing the arrow to the target. The winner
is the competitor whose arrow hits the point nearest to the centre
of the target. The Rab Prince proclaims the winner of the Games
and hands the prize "Felix" over to him. The
Rab knights games conclude with the musicians' and ensigns' program
and with the solemn march-past of all participants, in Renaissance