Croatia is a destination full of vibrancy and intriguing traditions and the best way to experience this is at one of the wonderful events and festivals held throughout the year. This year sees a variety of cultural, food-focused and artistic carnivals which take place from January to April.
For 2020, Croatia is offering enough variety to please every type of traveller. Events range from the Rijeka Carnival which hosts a series of parades, to the mesmerising Zagreb Festival of Lights or the exquisite gastronomical festivals that showcase Croatian delicacies. You can be assured that during any visit to Croatia in 2020 you will never be far away from a jubilant and joyous celebration.
Read the following guide and you’ll understand why Croatia is a must-visit destination in 2020.
Rijeka Carnival is one of the most iconic events on the Croatian cultural calendar. Celebrations began on 17th January but continue until 26th February. A trip to Rijeka at any time of the year should certainly be on the cards for any culture vulture. This year’s carnival has been more dynamic than ever before, as it has been welcomed in Rijeka’s new, prestige status as the 2020 European Capital of Culture.
The international parade begins on 23rd February and is set to dominate the city as fireworks, floats, dancing and colourful costumes flood the streets. Known as the crown of all carnivals in the Kvarner region, it is a competition in imagination, humour and originality, and everyone is invited to join in and express themselves in whatever way they desire. For more information, please click here.
Carnival 2020 in Crikvenica
Just down the coast from Rijeka, Crikvenica also hosts a carnival rich in culture and diversity throughout the months of January and February. This cheerful carnival journeys through Croatian villages bringing colour and joy to the inhabitants during the colder winter months, revealing that whatever the time of year, Croatia is always full of colour. From parades to children’s activities, tea parties, sports competitions and dance displays this carnival has something everyone can enjoy and involve themselves in.
The carnival encourages expressive and imaginative behaviour by welcoming participants to dress up in whatever they please. Travellers who want to experience authentic Croatian culture and traditions should have this on their bucket list, the carnival started on 11th January but continues on until 26th February. For more information, please click here.
Zagreb Festival of Lights
From 18th – 22nd March, Zagreb will host its annual festival of lights. Using state of the art lighting and audio-visual installations, Zagreb’s historical centre will become illuminated with colourful and quirky displays of imagery. Tying in with the start of a new season, the theme of this year’s festival is Spring, and the displays will project imagery that evokes concepts surrounding awakening, new-life and growth.
With a unique edge to it, this festival is not exclusive to lovers of art; it appeals to any traveller who is keen to experience something out of the ordinary and memorable. The Zagreb Festival of Lights is one of Croatia’s first events heralding the start of the 2020 tourism season, and there’s no better way to begin this exciting period than with a visit to this vibrant event. For more information, please click here.
Easter in Rovinj
To celebrate the beginning of the Easter period, Rovinj hosts a three-day gastronomical event which is accompanied by a special programme of entertainment. This delightful gastronomical event will showcase some of Croatia’s Easter delicacies, and visitors will have the chance to sample them for free. With pinca, fritulica and colourful eggs available to try, taste-buds will certainly be tingling.
Visitors to the event can take part in the local tradition of exchanging real, and chocolate eggs with one another, whilst a brass band and the Rovinj Majorettes play joyful tunes that spread the Easter cheer. For more information on this festival, please click here.
Spring Procession of Ljelje/Kraljice
This procession is quite the royal affair. Taking place on Pentecost Sunday (31st May) in the village of Gorjani is an extremely special tradition that was once widespread across Slavonia, Baranja and Syrmia. Dressed in traditional and extravagant costumes, young girls parade around the village, and to honour the tradition. Tourists will learn that weapons are a key part of the girls’ costumes.
For tourists who are keen to experience an authentic Croatian event, then this event is guaranteed to leave them satisfied. The atmosphere is fun and festive with singing and ribbon dancing, and will certainly provide travellers with a joyful and unique memory that will last a lifetime. For more information, please click here.
For more information, please visit the Croatian National Tourist Board website: www.croatia.hr.
To read more travel guides and reviews, visit our dedicated section here.