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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Rijeka Carnival 2012 Just Around The Corner






Not much more for me to add here. This isn't a tourism post to get people to drop their things and travel to Croatia for the Rijeka Karneval' in a few weeks.  However, the 2012 edition of the Rijeka Carnival is just around the corner, and I came across this one by chance looking for something else.  (It's great when someone does your work for you) Just a few days ago I used the same source for an amusing story about a fail geography map used on Fox News Network which you can read HERE.  It's kind of refreshing when someone not Croatian does an informative article that dispels preconceived notions about what's going on in Croatia these days. The Rijeka Carnival also isn't just the main parade and procession that takes place at the conclusion of festivities. There are numerous events, party's, balls, pagaents, celebrations and the children's parade going on in the weeks preceding the main Carnival procession. Anyway, all the information is pretty well found at the article below, so there's not much more for me to elaborate on. Just lots of fun for young and old, with lots of activities to choose from. You can click onto the links for more information and to previous posts on this blog about the Rijeka Carnival. Or visit the official Rijeka Carnival website at www.ri-karneval.com.hr









While Croatian tourism is better known for its beaches and summer nightlife, it has plenty to offer throughout the year, including one of the world's biggest carnivals in Rijeka.

The diverse nature of Croatia's year-round tourism potential will be on display in the northern coastal city of Rijeka from January 20, 2012, with the opening festivities of a one-month celebration which comprises the Rijeka Carnival. Less famous than its Venetian neighbour, the Rijeka Carnival is, however, one of the biggest carnivals in the world, and was attended last year by more than 600,000 people throughout the month.






The rise in the economy of especially Rijeka and surrounding region created the basis for the newer Rijeka Carnival that we see today. Up till then the European Lenten Carnival season festivities revolved mainly around the main Masked Ball attended by the various nobles and guests, and the first floats of the parade were few. Above an image of one of the first floats from 1892. (The float reads "Vatrogastsvo u godinu. 2000" which in Croatian means "Firefighting in the year 2000")





Rijeka Carnival, one of the largest in the world

The festivities will get underway on the evening of January 20, as the Mayor of Rijeka performs his traditional ceremonial duty of handing the keys of the city to the meštar od karnevala (Master of the Carnival) and includes a Carnival Queen Pageant. An impressively diverse calender of events, including a snowboard school, Paris-Bakar masked rally, children's parade and the main international parade will culminate in the traditional Burning of the Pust on February 19. Far from being a domestic affair, the Rijeka Carnival is attracting a growing international reputation, both in tourist visitors and participating floats. The increasing popularity of the event led to Rijeka obtaining full membership of the Federation of European Carnival Cities in 1995, and the event was listed by the Sunday Times as one of the top 24 most exotic events in the world in 2007.




A short but cool highlight video from last years 'Rijeka Karneval'.

 
 



Croatia as a 12-month destination

 The Rijeka Carnival is one example of a popular and traditional festival taking place out of the main summer season. The summer season has been the backbone of Croatian tourism in recent years, as the country has successfully rebuilt its tourism sector under the slogan The Mediterranean as it Once Was after the devastating conflict in former Yugoslavia.




Lots to see and do for one and all.



Costumes, balls, galas and parades. 



Lots to see and do, stores are still open.





Rijeka Carnival, one of the largest in the world

 The festivities will get underway on the evening of January 20, as the Mayor of Rijeka performs his traditional ceremonial duty of handing the keys of the city to the meštar od karnevala (Master of the Carnival) and includes a Carnival Queen Pageant. An impressively diverse calender of events, including a snowboard school, Paris-Bakar masked rally, children's parade and the main international parade will culminate in the traditional Burning of the Pust on February 19. Far from being a domestic affair, the Rijeka Carnival is attracting a growing international reputation, both in tourist visitors and participating floats. The increasing popularity of the event led to Rijeka obtaining full membership of the Federation of European Carnival Cities in 1995, and the event was listed by the Sunday Times as one of the top 24 most exotic events in the world in 2007.








Croatia as a 12-month destination

The Rijeka Carnival is one example of a popular and traditional festival taking place out of the main summer season. The summer season has been the backbone of Croatian tourism in recent years, as the country has successfully rebuilt its tourism sector under the slogan The Mediterranean as it Once Was after the devastating conflict in former Yugoslavia.


The Croatian government's campaign was highly effective, and official figures reported another record year in 2011 - 1.2 million visitors up from 2009 - as tourists are attracted by the country's stunning Adriatic coastline and beaches, walled towns such as Dubrovnik, and picturesque islands such as Hvar, which was named by Lonely Planet as its number 5 destination for 2012.




Children have their own special parade and events.



Music, balloons, floats.




Lots of pirates too.





Unique processions: Za Krizem on Hvar

The history of tourism has its roots away from the beach, and the founding of the Hvar Health Society in 1868 is credited as the oldest organised tourism in Europe, with a focus on the recuperative powers of the Hvar climate in the winter months, as is evidenced by this 1905 postcard. The Rijeka carnival is one of many traditional festivals which provide considerable depth to Croatia's tourism attractions, many of which are highly unique. On Hvar, for example, the 500 year-old Za Krizem (Behind the Cross) Easter Procession, under UNESCO protection since 2009, is one of the most important events of the year. The religious event is a 22km procession through the night from six villages behind a cross-bearer who carries a heavy wooden cross barefoot accompanied by his acolytes, religious faithful and an increasing number of tourists.




Last year 72 year groups, including 6,000 children from all over Croatia took part in the preceeding 'Children's Karneval'







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