Christmas is celebrated with much fervour in the Christian dominant country of Croatia. Here the preparations for Christmas begin early, with the start of the Christian observance of advent four weeks before Christmas. Traditionally Croatian women start baking Christmas biscuits and cakes to start the beginning of the festive season.
Celebrations truly get underway on 13 December, where many families plant wheat seeds in a plate. The plants then grow to be about 8 inches tall by Christmas Eve and then are tied together with a red, blue and white ribbon called trobojnica. Some families place a candle in the middle of the straw, with the belief that the glow that shines through the wheat represents the soul within every person.
This year, a special event was added to the Croatian Christmas calendar. The Christmas Light of Wishes event was held in Zagreb outside of the National Library. The event was described as a “gathering of good-hearted people”, during which participants release a small sky lantern into the sky.
The event was a joint project of humanitarian organisations Mogu Sve and the Croatian Thyroid Society, who formed the event to raise the awareness of various health issues. Organisers said that as the lantern disappears into the night, “it goes there with the well- wishes of the senders, and hopes for a better future.”
Click through our gallery above to see photos of this festival