If you love holiday season, Zagreb is the place to be. The city center turns into a huge Christmas market with many creative spots and events.
But not all of us love crowds, some prefer the exclusive feeling of participating in the not-too-touristy events. Enjoy this pick of under-the-radar winter events in Zagreb that will make your stay here feel even more authentic and bring back the true meaning of the holiday spirit.
It's Christmas season again, and I hear there will be a Santa run organized in Zagreb. Wouldn't it be even more fun to organize a competition between all Croatian Christmastide gift bringers? Every single one would have some strenghts and some weaknesses. Take Saint Lucy, for example. She would have some trouble running while carrying her eyes on a silver plate, right? And St Nicholas doesn't need to take care just of himself, he also has to drag his woolly pet Krampus in chains around. Oh, and kids, make some room for the Three Wise Men, if you don't want a black kiss on your cheek, they love to do that...
My tour guiding company just announced a fun seasonal tour called Zagreb Christmas Carol. Enjoy this trailer and get in touch if you're up for some winter sightseeing in Zagreb;)
Noise, food, alcohol, fireworks and holiday greetings! That’s New Years celebration all right. And has been since the dawn of time, at least when it comes to Indo-European traditions. It turns out that all the major things we do to mark the transition from one year to another, are in fact parts of ancient Roman and Greek rituals, especially Saturnalia.
Northwest Croatia including Zagreb surroundings was marking Saint Lucy’s day in many interesting ways, so let’s start with her depiction. In the past, a woman dressed as Saint Lucy would go around the village, visiting each house. When I say dressed as Saint Lucy, I mean adornments, too. Indeed, she was carrying a plate with some animal’s eyeballs.
To tell you the truth, we actually borrowed St. Nick from our middle-European neighbours. Folkloristic research shows very little evidence of celebrating St. Nicholas’ feast day among Croatian folk. Still, in the last few decades, St. Nick became the true star of pre-Christmas period in Croatia.