Kvarner newsletter / no 36

2011 Rijeka Carnival
The fifth season is about to begin!

The 2011 Rijeka Carnival will begin on the 21st of January with the traditional selection of Miss Carnival and the ceremony of handing the keys of the town over to the temporary "carnival mayor". The celebrations will continue until the 9th of March, when the traditional figure that is blamed for everything that went wrong in the previous year – locally know as the "Pust" – will be burned. In the meantime – plenty of carnival parties and celebrations are waiting for you…

Hundred years ago, Rijeka used to live its carnival tradition more intensely than any other town in this part of Europe. There were carnival parades and masked balls with Austrian and Hungarian nobility, Russian princesses, German barons, counts and countesses from all over Europe. The tradition of celebrations, colourful masks, the sound of bell-ringers' bells, parades and processions have not only remained part of the local carnival tradition, but the Rijeka Carnival went a step further and became one of the world's most renowned carnivals, alongside the carnivals in Rio de Janeiro and Venice.

2011 Rijeka CarnivalThe 28th Rijeka Carnival officially starts on the 21st of January after the traditional selection of Miss Carnival and the ceremony of handing the keys of the town over to the temporary "carnival mayor" in Rijeka's Dvorana mladosti sports hall. However, the carnival in many parts of the region starts on the Feast of St. Anthony, on the 17th of January. On that day, the Horn of St. Anthony wakes up the masks, which marks the beginning of carnival celebrations across Liburnia and in the areas of Pehlin, Pašac and Zamet.

This will be followed by numerous concerts, exhibitions, theatrical performances, parades and parties, and will culminate in the two central events in Rijeka: the Children's Carnival Parade on the 26th of February, and the International Carnival Parade on the 6th of March. This is the largest carnival parade with traditional and urban carnival groups who use masks to comment on some actual events. There is no doubt that this year too Rijeka's streets will be filled with many celebrities from all over Croatia and abroad.

Judging by the experience from the past years, the town of Rijeka will definitely be "bursting at the seams" in these days. The 2010 carnival parade had approximately eight thousand participants divided in 94 groups with 73 specially decorated vehicles. The event was viewed by almost hundred thousand viewers and was broadcast live on TV. However, no words can describe the atmosphere that one can experience here in the town. Therefore we take this opportunity to invite you to visit Rijeka and see for yourself why Rijeka Carnival is one of the three most celebrated carnivals in the world.