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Competition for the iron ring, town of Sinj

The competition for the iron ring is taking place every year in downtown of Sinj, on the first Sunday in August, on occasion of the victory over the huge turkish army, on August 14th , year the 1715. The huge,well equipped and armed turkish army of about 60.000 soldiers, led by the Mehmed pasha Celic, was attacking the Sinj castle, above the town, for 8 days. About 700 brave defenders, well provided and armed have locked into the castle, and deceded to defend the Town Of Sinj and Cetina province at any costs. During every attack, they have caused them large losses, because of good organized defense,the steep hill,inaccessible terrain,wide and strong walls with the towers and numerous loop holes. The strongest attack of the turkish army, has occured early in the morning on August 14th . Numerous turkish soldiers have started the attack, but the defenders returned the fire on all sides,with everything they had,antique flint guns,stones and cubure-antique flint pistols. They were attacking the castle several times,but they have been pushed back every time, at the large losses. At the end of that daily battle, arround the castle, there were about 10.000 turkish soldiers and officers, dead and wounded. When their commanders saw these losses, they ordered the retreat. After this, the rest of the turkish army started to run away to the mountain Kamesnica and the base camp near the town of Livno, in a chaos. Early in the morning on August 15th in the year 1715. there were turkish army no more, so 700 brave defenders had the reason to celebrate such a victory over the numerous and mighty turkish army. To the honour of this victory, the decision has been made for the 3 days' celebration through the competition for the : Bara,Coja and the Iron ring. Because of the historic importance,folk tradition,particularity and authenticity, on November 15th in the year 2010. competition for the iron ring have been inserted into the UNESCO list of the world immaterijal inheritance, which is for the Town Of Sinj and the Cetina province of the exceptional importance.

The celebration starts at 6 o' clock by the firing from the mackula, a kind of the flint guns, at the city's fortress and the brass band reveille through the downtown. Two hours before the start of the competition for the iron ring, 3 trumbeters and the drummer, from the fortress Kamicak, are calling all iron ring's cavalrymen and their Squires to gather at the Alajcaus place in the festive uniforms with the weapons. All their uniforms,equipment and the weapons are from the time of maintenance of the battle with the turkish army, and made according to the historic pictures and documents from the national museums. After he has reviewed their uniforms,equipment and weapons, they are going to the duke in the palace, by the trumbets and drums. After the Alajcaus submits the report to the duke, the Procession is made by the duke,alajcaus,iron ring's cavalry squad,squires squad and the escort, and procede to the central stage and the race course, where the competition will take place. Usually, the duke chooses the best 17 iron ring's Lancers who will race in the competition. After the Duke permits the horse race, the competion may starts.

The rules inflict the obligation for the cavalrymen to ride on the race course in the full gallop for 160 metres, and hit the iron ring at the height of the 3,2 metres with the lance. During that time, no part of the uniform,equipment or weapons may drop off. If it happens, the Duke may allow him to repeat the race. To check the skill of the iron ring's cavalrymen, they are competing for 3 days : For the Bara,Coja and the iron ring as the final race. Different hits into the round iron ring, bring the different points. The hit into the upper part of the ring-brings 2 points, the hit into one of two lower parts of the ring-brings 1 point, and the hit into the centre of the iron ring brings 3 points. The lancer, who collects the most points through these 3 races, is the winner of the iron ring's competition. They glorify him as the big winner. According to the good ancient tradition, he invites all the guests to come into his house for celebration the victory. The winner gets from the Knightly Lancers society the golden ring with the engraved coat of arms and sabre,golden Iron Ring plaque and the money reward. His squire,who was taking the care about the iron ring's cavalryman equipment and the weapons, get the silver ring with the engraved coat of arms and the jatagan-antique flint pistol. In the winner house, the celebration is lasting for all the night, because the victory is the sign of the knighthood,skills,pride and the honour of his family, relatives and friends.

This competition for Bara,Coja and the Iron Ring is very important event for the town of Sinj and the Cetina province,history,tradition,folk customs,paying the honour to all the passed away soldiers in that battle,tourist offer and for the very town itself. During the competition, many guests and tourist come to see this unique horse race with lances, because something like that, exists nowhere in the world.

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