Culture and Customs of Croatia

By Marilyn Cvitanic | Go to book overview

5
Holidays and Leisure Activities

OFFICIAL NATIONAL HOLIDAYS1
The 11 official holidays on the Croatian calendar are both secular and religious, each having a particular tradition and history. But as in the United States, many people look forward to these holidays primarily because they represent at least one day off from work. Government offices are closed, as are many private businesses and shops, while ferries, buses, and trains usually run on a modified schedule. If the holiday is planned to create a three-day weekend, crowded travel conditions are the norm, especially in the summer months. If groceries are needed on a holiday, it is best to go shopping in the morning, because at least one local store will be open but for only half a day. Outdoor markets usually are empty as are most streets, even in larger cities. As noted in several travel guides for Croatia, visitors generally have a hard time figuring out exactly what is being celebrated during most holidays.Listed below are Croatia’s official holidays, including explanations for the less familiar ones and a brief discussion of how each is celebrated. Christmas and Easter are covered in more detail at the end of this section.
January 1, New Year’s Day: Croatians hit the streets on New Year’s Eve with large outdoor celebrations. Ban Jelacic Square in Zagreb gets particularly raucous with vendors selling rakija, an alcoholic beverage made of distilled fruit (often grapes), and wine alongside fireworks and musical performances. The party goes on well past midnight and the event is free. In addition,

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Culture and Customs of Croatia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Foreword vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Chronology xiii
  • 1 - Geography and History 1
  • 2 - Religion 43
  • 3 - Civic Values and Political Thought 51
  • 4 - Marriage and Family, Gender Issues, and Education 65
  • 5 - Holidays and Leisure Activities 77
  • 6 - Cuisine and Fashion 91
  • 7 - Literature 107
  • 8 - Media and Cinema 127
  • 9 - Music and Performing Arts 141
  • 10 - Painting and Sculpture 167
  • 11 - Architecture and Housing 193
  • Selected Bibliography 219
  • Index 227
  • About the Author 241
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