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Carnival in Croatia |  In Rijeka, Carnival is celebrated especially loudly

Carnival in Croatia | In Rijeka, Carnival is celebrated especially loudly

Carnival and Croatia don't necessarily seem like a common combination. In many places in the South, Carnival was celebrated at least as colorfully as in this country. The most striking is the coastal city of Rijeka. Here are the truly proud residents talking about Season 5. Following the election of the Carnival Queen and the symbolic handing over of the key to the city by Mayor Marko Filipović, the hustle and bustle in the university town is diverse – from masked balls to a children's carnival to the marquee parade on Carnival Sunday (February 11). . Then the entire city center falls under the carnival sign. 10,000 masked people, organized into more than a hundred groups, parade through the city streets and entertain up to 120,000 spectators – not least because Rijeka itself has a population of just over 100,000.

This step takes eight hours

Spacious streets and pedestrian areas are ideal for this big event. Foolish groups display amazing choreography and are sometimes accompanied by live bands. Additional entertainment awaits visitors on several stages along the parade route. The festival lasts for eight hours, starting at noon and ending after 8pm in the port of Rijeka.

The festival has long made a name for itself internationally. Last year's parade was attended not only by carnival groups from all over Croatia, but also from Italy, Hungary, Montenegro, Macedonia, India and Malaysia. While in Venice in Italy or in Ptoj in Slovenia, the focus is on classic masks with a long tradition, in Rijeka things have gotten modern and flamboyant since the revival of Carnival celebrations in 1982. If you look around the city, visitors are more likely to think of Rio's dance scene more From Serenissima masks.

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Bell bearers are creepy

Only the Zvončari are a relic of bygone days. Dressed in sheepskins, with bells on their legs and waists and with animal skulls in their hands, they resemble the local Birchten. They are supposed to put an end to winter and its demons. The bell bearers have been included in UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage since 2009.

Zvončari is represented everywhere where Carnival is celebrated in the Kvarner Gulf and Istria. Between Shrove Saturday and Shrove Tuesday, you can also find parades in Crikvenica, Opatia and Pula as well as in small villages in the hinterland of Istria.

Carnival in Zagreb is relatively small. The parade in the main square is one of the fixed points on the calendar. Traditionally, residents of the capital are drawn to nearby Samobor, which revolves around masked children.

Traditional in Dalmatia

In contrast to the flashy city of Rijeka, Dalmatia relies on regional traditions. On the island of Pag, the traditional drama “The Gentle Girl of Pag” and the Kolo Circle Dance are performed. In Korčula, the program includes traditional sword dances in historical costumes and Lastovo's “Boklad” is considered one of the oldest carnival events in Europe – and is organized with a tight schedule that organizes days full of dancing, sword shows and songs. In Dubrovnik, Carnevo is the final spectacle of the city's winter festival.

The highlight and end of Carnival in Croatia is the burning of a large straw effigy, which is supposed to end the cold season. In Rijeka, “Pust” was blamed for all the sins of the city, condemned and set on fire in the harbor basin. With a lot of commitment, a worry-free start to spring is almost guaranteed.

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