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  • Writer's pictureLily


As the Easter holidays approach, the carnival season of Fašnik brings festivity to Croatia before the fasting period of Lent. It is celebrated up to a month before the 40-day fast, this year falling on the 12th and 13th of February.

Fašnik originated in the 15th century, providing people with a final chance to indulge in food, drink, dance, and overall enjoyment before fasting. Over the years, traditions have remained and new ones have developed, but the most notable are the Fašnik parades, dances, and community celebrations. One of the most vibrant aspects of Fašnik are the costumes, which are traditionally hand made and include masks. Participants look forward to creating unique and colorful costumes, adding an extra layer of fun to the holiday. In addition to lively street festivals, other traditions include parading figures to represent the year’s bad spirits before burning them, casting away negativity for the year to come. This also symbolizes the end of a cold, dark winter, and welcoming the warm light of spring.

Fašnik provides an opportunity for new generations to experience historic customs, and for communities to come together and celebrate. Despite tweaks in the ways specific regions celebrate, the center of all Fašnik festivals in Croatia is the importance of tradition, connection, and renewal.

(photos from the school carnival party)

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