ZAGREB, Feb 23 (Hina) – An international Carnival parade involving over 11,000 masked revellers marched through the streets of the northern Adriatic city of Rijeka on Sunday as the main event of the Carnival season.
A total of 116 groups, including 14 groups from other Croatian regions and 24 groups from abroad, took part in the carnival this year. Among the foreign groups were those from past and future European Capitals of Culture: Galway (Ireland), Esch (Luxembourg), Kaunas (Lithuania), Novi Sad (Serbia), Veszprem (Hungary), and the Italian region of Matera, as well as groups from other European cities, India, Japan and the United States.
The event, which is on the list of the 500 most important events in Europe, drew numerous spectators, accredited reporters from Croatia and Europe, and organised groups of tourists from all over the world.
In the evening, after the end of the parade, the master of the Carnival will return the city’s key to the mayor, and the Pust, a Carnival dummy that personifies everything bad that happened in the previous year, will be ceremoniously burnt in the harbour.
“Since the day it was organised for the first time, by the Rijeka Tourist Board, in 1982, the renewed Rijeka Carnival has, in the best possible way, continued with the centuries-long masking tradition in the Croatian Littoral and has placed the city on the Rječina River amongst the most important European carnival cities. When, in 1982, three masked groups (namely, carnival groups “Lako ćemo”, “Pehinarski feštari” and “Halubje Bellringers”) passed through Korzo, nobody foresaw the proportions that the already traditional International Rijeka Carnival would assume over the years. The International Carnival Parade is only one of the programmes of this important event which brings together an ever growing number of participants and visitors both from Croatia and abroad,” organisers said.