Croatian cities mark May Day with free bean soup
- by croatiaweek
- in News
Croatia has marked May Day, or International Workers’ Day, on Monday with a public holiday that saw thousands turn out for traditional free lunches around the country.
Every year on May 1st, Croatia celebrates May Day with a tradition of serving free bean soup lunches across the country and once again today was no different.
The May Day lunch is a tradition in Osijek and today over 2,500 portions of bean soup was dished up for free for locals who turned out in large numbers on the left bank of the Drava River.
The Mayor of Osijek, Ivan Radić, took part in the serving up of the lunch today.
“The city of Osijek records record employment and record low unemployment. Unemployment is 12.3 percent lower than in March of the previous year, which are excellent results. We have large investments worth 150 million euros. The city of Osijek signed collective agreements with all its city companies, where the material rights of all workers increased. We can welcome this beautiful, sunny Labour Day optimistically with good numbers. Happy Labor Day to all workers, especially those in on-call services who are still working today,” he said.
Over 30,000 portions of free bean soup and 20,000 portions of štrukli were served at the biggest event in the country at Maksimir Park in the capital Zagreb.
A record number of locals gathered at Vukovar’s favorite picnic spot, the Adica forest park, and celebrated May 1 with traditional bean soup.
The students of the “Marko Babić” Secondary Vocational School helped prepare the May Day meal, and Mayor Ivan Penava and Deputy Filip Sušac helped distribute 1,200 portions to locals.
“I am glad to see many citizens, and the long queue for servings of beans shows that tradition is highly respected in our city. This is an opportunity to highlight the importance of work, because in recent years the culture of work has been suppressed in our country and we do not know how to appreciate our Croatian work and product. We must respect the locals and teach the generations to live from their work because that is the only perspective,” said the Mayor of Vukovar, Ivan Peneva.
“Today, all roads traditionally lead to Adica, and we can see that the number of fellow citizens, as well as visitors from other cities and towns, has proven that. We are happy to spend time with our fellow citizens and I hope that we will all have fun and spend the day in a festive mood,” pointed out Marina Sekulić, director of the Vukovar Tourist Board.
There were also traditional free bean lunches served in other cities and towns across Croatia, including in Split where locals gathered on Marjan hill for free beans and entertainment.
Bean soup is given out to all people as a symbol of a real workers dish and red carnations as a symbol of the blood of fallen workers from the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago.
The date, 1 May, has also been known for anti-capitalist protests around the world.