The Rosemary Co-operative of Velo Grablje was founded in 1892, and was the first of its kind in Croatia. It was the start of a long tradition of the production of essential oils from rosemary and lavender.

Between 1928 and 1930, the village of Velo Grablje saw a great increase in lavender planting and production, making the village one of the biggest producers of lavender oil in Dalmatia.

Mr. Bartul Tomicic (1869-1953), “barba Borte”, was the originator of the planting and oil production. The man best known for lavender oil production in Dalmatia in the 1960’s was Mr. Lorenco Tudor (1894-1975), who earned himself the sobriquet of “the Lavender King”. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Hvar was known for its rosemary, while in the 20th century it became famous for its scent of lavender and its lavender oil, especially in the village of Velo Grablje.

The idea and motive behind the Festival is to remember those many hardworking men, women and children who shaped the past of the ‘lavender village’ and to give an incentive and motive to the young of today to harness and keep this old and beautiful tradition.