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Croatia organises many events and festivals like the St. Blaise festival, Rijeka Carnival, Zagreb Dox, INmusic festival, etc. Travellers should plan their vacation according to the events to be able to experience and enjoy them.

St. Blaise Festival in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik’s most loved saint and historical figure is St. Blaise. The Feast of St. Blaise is celebrated with fervor. February 2, the Virgin Mary Candlemas, marks the beginning of the celebrations. St. Blaise’s flag is raised on Orlando’s column and white doves are released in front of the Church of St Blaise. On 3rd February, the day of the feast, a morning mass is dedicated to the saint and then a procession of priests and churchgoers pile up Stradun (Street) bearing relics of the saint as well as banners before going back to the church. Intricate local technique is displayed at the church, as the banners are swirled and lowered. It’s also an occasion for everyone to show off the lavish traditional garments and jewellery. Believers are blessed by priests through the day using two intertwined candles around the throat. It is believed that this prevents throat problems. At dusk, the stained glass windows of St. Blaise church glows brightly with light. St. Blaise Feast Day in Dubrovnik was listed on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Heritage in 2009.

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Rijeka Carnival

Rijeka’s Carnival is essentially a Christian celebration that ends on Shrove Tuesday. It once attracted everyone from peasants to Russian counts and is rated as one of the largest Carnival parties. The Carnival commences on a Tuesday in mid January  where the Carnival flag is first raised. On the Friday that follows, the Queen’s Pageant and the Handing over the City Keys to the master of festivities takes place. The following weekend is the Zvoncari, otherwise known as the Bell Ringers. It’s a long tradition where men dress up as ferocious animals and dance and ring bells loudly. This is followed by the Children’s Carnival Parade the week after, where thousands of children and pre-schoolers dance through the streets. The International Carnival Parade is the main event, with traditional masks, costumes and floats often linked with current events. About 8000 participants and 100 carnival groups are watched by 100,000 spectators. At the grand finale, the symbol for everything that went wrong in the past year—namely the “Pust” is put on trial and burned. The city keys are returned to the mayor on the last day of the Carnival and the Carnival flag is lowered as well. This takes place the Sunday before Shrove Tuesday.  

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Zagreb Dox

Held annually, Zagreb Dox is an international documentary film festival established in 2005. It is the biggest festival of its kind in South East Europe. Its goals are to showcase documentary films from the region as well as to provide a meeting point for authors from all over the world. It offers documentary features of high quality to local audiences and helps promote documentary films as one of the basic film genres. The festival helps authors develop their projects in addition to the screenings by participating in workshops, presentations and forums organized during this festival. Along with the official competition, the festival features reflections of well known authors and various national cinemas.

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INmusic festival

INmusic festival is touted as Croatia’s largest international open-air festival and features in the top 20 European summer festivals since 2008 as listed by The Times. Spread over 2-3 days, the festival is held each year in June on Youth Island in the centre of Zagreb’s beautiful Lake Jarun. The festival commenced in 2006 and features several internationally renowned heavy metal, indie rock, and electronica artists in many genre-specific stages.

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International Children’s Festival

Sibenik becomes a city which celebrates children’s imagination and creativity in June and July each year. Children from all over the world participate and its streets are taken over by their creations and are dedicated to the development of all the artistic forms of their creativity. For the past five decades, those who value this children’s world of fun and games, innocence and goodness come and visit. In spite of the rich tradition of this city, it is the children and the now International Children’s Festival that has become the trademark of Sibenik. The festival offers three basic programmes: an open workshop directly involving children in the act of creation, a festival of domestic and international children’s ensembles, and the educational segment, with a symposium that addresses the aesthetic education of children. During these two weeks, Sibenik should be an inevitable destination to those who still have a childish streak in them, and more so to those who have completely forgotten it.

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