As is it every year Saint Nicholas day is special and the most important day in entire year for Komiza on island Vis. It is normal because Komiza is turn to fishing and maritime since its beginigs and Saint Nicholas, or Saint Mikula as he is named in Komiza, is a saint patron of the town.
The tradition dates from old ages and it is related to the legend of Nicholas, the bishop of Smirna.
It says that long time ago the young bishop went to pilgrimage to the Holy land, to Jerusalem. On his trip the ship entered the terrible storm and it was about to sink in the sea. Nicholas was calm telling prayers to the Lord, asking strong winds to calm down, and his prayers were answered.
Probably saint Nicholas helped the Pope Alexander III on his trip across Adriatic. Komiza was the first Croatia land that one Pope has visited. It was year of 1177 and the ship with the Pope entered the storm. They managed to find the shelter on the island of Palagruza about 40 miles from Komiza. Local fishermen helped him out and invited to visit Komiza. He have visited the town where he visited the monestary of St. Nicholas and stayed for awhile. After that he continued his trip to Zadar.
The tradition of celebrating St. Nicholas is preserved until today, when interesting program is occured every year. The central ceremony is burning of an old wooden boat as sacrifiction in honor of St. Nicholas. The program lasts for few days, and this is year is special to mention the regatta of St. Nicholas. It was shortened for bad weather conditions and instead of 160 NM lasted “only” half of it.
The weather changed several times so we had winds from southeast with rain, then strong northwest wind with rain, very dangerous southern wind that calmed down over night turning to beuatiful sunny day on very morning of St. Nicholas day. Komiza showed again its unusual character at the “end of Croatia”. It is hard to describe, you have to experience it yourself.