Samobor – The oldest and the biggest masquerade


Samobor – The oldest and the biggest masqueradeSamobor, a town in the northwest part of Croatia, located along the border with Slovenia, near Zagreb, has for almost two centuries nurtured the tradition of carnival. The Samobor carnival is among the oldest and largest Croatian carnival festivities, which has grown into a modern festival and become the trademark of the town and a sort of cultural heritage. This is a tourist and entertainment event that is annually visited by around 200 000 people.


The largest and oldest in the continental part of Croatia, the Samobor carnival is a place of fun, joy, satire and social criticism. During this time the residents of Samobor dress in fancy dress costumes while the city and its streets, squares and bars also completely change their appearance. During those days Samobor, which is a favorite weekend destination for locals, is the merriest place to be at, as masks, parades, jugglers, clowns and pantomimists rule its streets every day. Along with a variety of workshops, concerts and circus stunts, its youngest visitors are not forgotten either, so every Saturday and Sunday the Children's Carnival is also held.

The 186th Samobor Carnival will be held this year from 11-21 February. As always, it will begin with the declaration of the Free Carnival Republic and with the ceremonial handing over of the keys of the city, Prince Carnival and his entourage will take over the governing of the city for 10 days. The participation of 2500 children from schools and kindergardens, and 1000 participants from carnival groups from all over Croatia are expected.

It all began in the 1820s. Rare written documents from that period show that a carnival and a fancy dress ball were held in the streets of Samobor. Preserved in the Museum of Samobor are the minutes from the meeting of the Municipal Council from 1828. In it there is written proof that a local innkeeper requested the rental of a hall for a fancy dress ball, noting that he had already used it the previous year for the same purpose. It is, in fact, the first written document about the Samobor carnival, where it is evident that it had already been held in 1827. Since 1904 the Carnival has also had its official journal, Sraka. Every February Sraka is a true barometer of social events and an indication of the political situation of its time. The Carnival paper has since then regularly recorded the times and traditions, mocking authorities through humor and irony.

The Samobor Carnival was interupted by the Second World War, and the tradition was restored only in 1965.

In addition to the Carnival, Samobor offers many other tourist attractions. In the vicinity of the city lie the Samobor and Žumberak highlands, which offer numerous natural resources, cultural and religious sites, archaeological sites, hiking and biking trails and mountain huts and restaurants. There you can enjoy the rich gastronomy, based on old recipes, such as the Žumberak lamb, trout and venison. Finally, a recommendation to all who visit Samobor - culinary specialties like bermet (sweer wine), mustard, garlic sausage, Samobor salami and the famous Samobor cream cakes, that are probably the only ones in the world to be eaten warm, must be savoured. This favorite cake has become a tradition and is one of the symbols of the charming little town, located some 20 kilometers from the center of Zagreb.

The Tourist Board of Zagreb County
www.tzzz.hr

The Tourist Board of Samobor
www.tz-samobor.hr

Samoborski fašnik
www.fasnik.com

2 comments:

  1. The best carnival in Croatia :)

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