Sudamja is the name of centuries old celebration of Saint Domnius held in Split every year on the 7th of May. This day also marks the Day of the City of Split. Sudamja includes various events, exhibits, fairs and bingo on Riva, all during the seven days around the Day of St. Domnius.
Saint Domnius lived and acted during the reign of Roman emperor Diocletian in the fourth century, and died as a Christian martyr at time when Christians were persecuted. Very soon after his death a cult emerged around his grave in Salona. In the seventh century after the fall of Salona the reliquias of Saint Domnius were transferred to the emperor’s mausoleum in Split, which has been transformed into cathedral. Cathedral is today primarily a place of liturgy with a millennium long continuity, best reflected in the Sunday mass and the renewed splendour of the procession on the St Domnius’s day.
The existence of Sudamja most probably goes back to early middle ages. Equally old related fair has been offering various goods and services to the visitors since the beginning. Today you can find there traditional souvenirs, wooden butterflies and similar toys for children as well as wooden utensils for older people. However, the main celebration includes a procession that starts from St. Domnius cathedral, passing through Riva and finishing on Doctor Franjo Tuđman square, where a Mass is then held.
The first bingo called „Tombula“ was held in the middle of 19th century, and it forms an integral part of the whole event today. Tombula is a quite popular game that offers players the chance of winning money. Nowdays a rowing contest in front of the waterfront also takes place every year for Sudamja.
The longevity of the celebration confirms its great importance for the locals. The celebration of Saint Domnius culminates at the outset of May with which hot summer time begins, typical for Dalmatian area. In this context Sudamja is a celebration of the beginning of awakening of Mediteranean spirit after winter!