Carnival, commonly known as a fifth season in Rijeka and surrounding area, is a time of the year marked with happy and positive vibes, time when people forget about everthing bad in their lifes, put a mask and have lot of fun. For this part of Croatia, this is very inportant traditional event.
The fifth season in Rijeka starts on 17th of January, on the Feast Day of St. Anthony. It starts with the raising of the carnival flag and transfering the Mayors key of the city to the leader of Carnival. From that date, Carnival is ruling in the city. In that period, many carnival and masked fests and events are held, like Carnival Queen Pageant, masked auto-rally Pariz-Bakar, Humanitarian Ball, concerts and many more different events.
Masked ‘Paris-Bakar’ Rally is a traditional event organised by the ‘Rijeka’ Automobile Club. This rally is a parody of the world famous rally ‘Paris-Dakar’ and has been a supporting sport event of the Rijeka Carnival since 1990.
Masked ‘Paris-Bakar’ Rally is a unique event of its kind in the world, with motorised participants from different regions, all of them – drivers, co-drivers and referees wearing masks, while their decorated vehicles tell a story of their own.
Direct internet transmission has brought the Rijeka Carnival closer to the whole world. The result of all these activities led to the acceptance of Rijeka as a full member of the Federation of European Carnival Cities (FCCC) in 1995. The Rijeka Carnival has been added to the list of the 500 most important events in Europe – Top 500 European Events, and the Sunday Times declared it one of the most exotic world events, included in the book “501 must be there events”.
But, main event, or better to say two of them, are held more to the end of Carnival season, some kind of grand finale. There is Children’s Carnival Parade, held on saturday in main walking street in city, Korzo, and one week after that, on the same location, the main thing happens- International Rijeka Carnival Parade. This, some kind of D-day of the Rijeka Carnival, is a mix of everything that preceded it during the fifth season. It is a parade of Rijeka’s distinctiveness based on the tradition which lives on even today, in todays’ and future carnival costume. Beautiful, colorful and luxurious costumes, allegorical floats, almost 200 groups, with total of few thousands members make huge parade across Korzo, from noon till evening.
Congratulations to the numerous media and their efforts that come to Rijeka’s fifth season, to the Carnival, every year, hundreds of them from all over the world, but the fact remains that the Rijeka Carnival can only be fully experienced if consumed on the spot, in its native environment.
When the end come, there is one more thing to do – Rijeka’s Faculty of Maritime Studies students, in the “POM-F-RI” carnival group, respecting each rule of the carnival funeral rites, in the middle of Rijeka’s waters burns the straw culprit guilty of all charges for bad things that happened in the last year.
This year Carnival Parade will be held on 26th of February, so, hurry up and come to Rijeka to experience time of happiness, positive vibes and have lot of fun!
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