Bartulja in Žminj is the best known and the most popular today’s folk festivity in Istria with at least centennial tradition probably reaching back far into the past. It used to be celebrated on St. Bartholomew’s Day on 24 August, but in time people started gathering the last Saturday in August to meet in large numbers.
Nevertheless, St. Bartholomew’s Day is still celebrated with a mass held in the church of the saint right at the entrance to Žminj. The point of every Bartulja, both in the past and today, is actually the gathering of people from Žminj in their native place. It is the day when they return to their homes in order to gather around their fireplaces, meet their relatives and friends, have a talk and take a walk around the place. Older people recall that just before Bartulja they would clean their house every day after the harvest and after working in the field so that it would look nice and ready for their relatives and guests.