Kvarner newsletter / no 48

2012 Rijeka Carnival
Loads of joy and carnival groups

Right when many towns around the world are enjoying a rest after their Christmas and New Year's festivities, Rijeka starts to liven up again: this year the Rijeka Carnival starts on January 17 and runs until February 22. During this period, the town will be visited by many fans of carnival events.

The time is getting near, new masks are being produced in many homes across the Kvarner region, and everything is ready for another Rijeka Carnival. The fifth season, as carnival is known in the local area, starts on January 17 and runs until February 22.

The events announced for this year's Rijeka Carnival will surely thrill every visitor to the town and bring much joy and happiness, which we all need in these gloomy winter days.
After the official beginning on January 17, the handover of the city keys and the selection of the Carnival Queen will take place on January 20 in Rijeka's Dvorana mladosti Sports Hall. After that, tourists will have the chance to enjoy a variety of carnival events on Rijeka's streets, squares and institutions. However, this will be only an introduction to the two major events – the Children's Carnival Parade on February 11, and the large International Carnival Parade on February 19.

Thousands of children from Croatia and abroad will take part at the Children's Carnival Parade dressed up as their favourite characters from fairy tales, cartoons, or simply imagination. As always, children will form numerous carnival groups and will walk through the centre of the town in a long, colourful parade. The culmination of the carnival in Rijeka will be the large International Carnival Parade on February 19. This tradition, which started three decades ago, is very important for people who live here. A distinctive feature of this parade is the fact that many groups that take part in it comment on actual events in Croatia and abroad in a funny way.

When the renewed Rijeka Carnival was first organised by the Rijeka Tourist Board in 1982, it continued the centuries-old tradition of carnival in the coastal area. Over years, the event has become increasingly better, more colourful and more popular. Recently it has been listed among the best carnival events in Europe and worldwide. Last year, the Rijeka Carnival Parade had ca. 9,000 participants in 107 groups with numerous floats, and was viewed by more than 110,000 viewers.

If you would like to be part of this cheerful atmosphere as a participant or spectator, make sure to book your place as soon as possible. And remember – there is no place in the world where you can experience this kind of combination of European civic carnival based on historical and cultural customs and elements of folklore and mythology interwoven with actual economical and urban events. Come to the Rijeka Carnival, because only here you can be whatever you want to be! If this is not enough, let us remember that in 2009 the Sunday Times recommended the Rijeka Carnival as one of the most exotic events in the world!