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Sensa – Days of cheese

Sensa is an old folk custom that has been held in Dubašnica for centuries.

Sensa is an old folk custom that has been held in Dubašnica for centuries.  On this day, locals compete in a running competition known as “Teć za sir” (Run for cheese).  It originated in the fact that much of Dubašnica’s population was once engaged in dairy farming. Sensa (from lat. Ascensio) is the folk name of the Feast of the Ascension (lat. Ascensio Domini), i.e. Ascension Day.

Sensa is held on the 40th day after Easter, and like, Easter, does not fall on a fixed date . It commemorates Christ’s ascension into heaven on the fortieth day after His resurrection.  In the parish church of Dubašnica, located in Bogovići, cheese is brought to the altar during mass accompanied by the sound of sopele.  After evening mass, following the centuries old pastoral custom, people gather along the road in front of the parish church to cheer on the young men running in pairs for cheese.  The number of participants is not limited, and in the past  anywhere from  five to fifteen or more pairs competed.

Two races are run from the church bell tower to Pavočićevo gumno, a distance of about 200 to 300 metres.  The gathered crowd applauds the young men as the mayor (once the village chief) gives each competitor a cheese.

Afterwards, there is traditional song and dance to the sound of sopele.  Attendees feast on young cheese, and  traditional delicacies baked by Dubašnica housewives, along with some local wine.

Related to this custom are The Days of Cheese, which last the entire week that Sensa is held.  Establishments offer a variety of cheeses made by local farmers and manufacturers, along with other local products and handicrafts.  Every year, European cities and regions twinned with the Malinska-Dubašnica municipality also participate in the event.