Carnival, also called the “fifth season of the year” is a special period in the year when everybody can put on their masks and be somebody else: maybe a princess, a pirate, a cat or whatever their heart wishes.
Carnival is celebrated in many places around the world. The most famous are the one in Rio de Janeiro and the other one in Venetia. The carnival in Rio is also the biggest on the world, holding the record from 2009; it was visited by 4,9 million people.History of Carnival goes way back, the first costume ball in Venice was organized in the1268. and it is still celebrated every single year.
Every town in Croatia has its own carnival. The biggest and the most popular is the one in Rijeka. First one was organized one Sunday in the 1982, with only three masked groups – the Halubje Bell Ringers, Pehlin Party People and the group “Lako ćemo” who passed along the main city promenade. From only three carnival groups in 1982, it grew into the biggest in Croatia with more than 150 carnival groups. Tourist Boardof Rijeka had to limit the number of carnival groups in the parade, because it was growing to big so nowadays are allowed only hundred of them. Opposite to that, the number of spectators can not be limited, so every year, depending on the weather conditions, the number is never less then 100 thousand; one time has even reached 150 000.
The carnival officially starts when the Master of Carnival receives the Town Key and the Queen of the Rijeka is chosen. For the youngest one, The first Children Carnival Parade was organized in 1997. and since then children are also the part of the International Rijeka Carnival Parade. Children’s parade or the “cutest” parade on the world is always one weekend before the main carnival, so make sure You come one weekend earlier in the Rijeka. On the Carnival day, Rijeka’s center becomes a river of color and fairy tales, stopping the traffic and the buzz of the town. For the ones who can not participate, there is a direct live stream on the Rijeka’s Carnival website. Two days after, it is time for the last act of Carnival. By respecting the each of the carnival funeral rituales, in the middle of Rijeka, one mask of straw will be burned, culprit guilty of all charges and evils.
Day after the end of Carnival, consumed with creativity and new fresh ideas, people begin with preparations for the next year.
We also have to mention the “Samoborski fašnik”, a Carnival in town Samobor, organized for the last 188 years.
Samobor again becomes the “Republic of Fašnik”, with every day celebration and masked children passing trough the city. There is also a traditional program on the Square of King Tomislav with “fašnik” Princess, Prince and the Judge.
So are You ready to put on Your masks and visit one of the many Carnival parade?