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Celebrating Advent in New England, the Croatian style

Advent in New England, Croatian style

by Mirena Bagur

Over 100 members of the New England Friends of Croatia (NEFC), a not-for-profit organization in the US in the Boston area that fosters the Croatian culture in New England, has gathered to celebrate Advent (Dočašće) as well as to welcome in winter.

This year there were a few new members, some of which arrived to the party from as far as Concord, NH. 

The guests were welcomed by the members of the Board discussing the organizations’ plans for the next year. In addition, both the menu and the music were Croatia-inspired, which made sure that everyone felt like they are celebrating with their family back home. 

NEFC Board Members discussing next year plans – from left: Dado Grabovac, Irena Matulic, Dragomir Ralic, Bozo Polic, Irena Rasin, Biserka Ralic, Jelena Mustra and Mirena Bagur

The friends of Croatia were hosted by the Sabur Restaurant, known in the Boston area for its Mediterranean cuisine.  As usual, the chef ensured that the menu included traditional Croatian Christmas dinner items such as roast turkey and pork, with mashed potatoes and “kiseli kupus”.

The friends of Croatia were hosted by Sabur Restaurant

But, the most celebrated was, in fact, the desserts – from fritule, orehnjača, čupavci and snowflakes sugar cookies, all brought in from the home ovens of the Croatian ladies. 

Croatian-American students, Shanaelle Petty and Sarah Reilly, are first in line for the traditional Croatian cookies

Djeda Mraz told the children he arrived early because of the cookies. He sang with the kids and gave them all small presents reminding them of the homeland.

Djeda Mraz giving early gift bags filled with Croatian candy

All in all – this was a humble celebration of the Christmas season with great reminders of the Croatian traditions and inspiration for future accomplishments in connecting the US with Croatia. 

Djeda Mraz and two Croatian ladies who have been instrumental in keeping the community together, Jolanda Keyneres-Pavlinic and Ariana Zelic


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