Well a few weeks have passed since Croatian Maškare was over for the year, but I didn’t want to miss the chance of writing a blog entry about this unique event that takes place every winter in this part of the world.
Some of you may remember that I wrote a bit about this annual tradition last year when I experienced it for the first time. Here’s a link to that entry: Maškare 2013
There’s a good history of the actual tradition on that link up there. (So give it a click!)
This year, there were more weekends, and since I was there for the whole stretch (I only missed the first weekend), I got to truly experience many more elements of Maškare.
Here’s a quick summary:
Every weekend leading up to Lent, there is a huge party in a tent in the middle of town. ALL ages (teenagers to senior citizens) go dressed up in costume and drink and dance the night away to live Croatian music. It all leads up to Karneval. (I’ll post a separate blog about my first Karneval experience!) There are other traditions that go along with this time of year, but I’ll just focus this entry on the party every Saturday night. (And it’s normal to go out to a bar or two before heading to the tent, so some of our pics were in the bar ahead of time.)
This year we had much better weather than last year. (Last year was colder.) Also, instead of that fantastic pizza in the tent last year, this year they had a stand that served ćevapi and fries. (Also yummy!)
Some weeks, we went all out with our costumes, other times we were a little more laid back. Or there were weeks where I dressed up, but Miloš didn’t really want to. (He’s been doing this for years and years. Being that it’s still relatively new to this theatre girl, I was all about dressing up and going all out!)
The crowds varied every week, depending on who the headlining band was. Each week a different popular Croatian musician came in to perform as the headliner. There is also a house band that performs every week while the headlining band takes breaks in their sets. With each week, there were times where there was plenty of room to dance and move around, and other times you could barely breathe, the tent was so crowded. (I’m not exaggerating; one week it was so crowded that it was like a giant sauna powered by human body heat and sweat. The tent was dripping with condensation and I had to step outside a few times to get some air.)
Some groups of party-goers get all decked out in theme costumes. They can then enter themselves in the contests each week.
I’m including a variety of pics, starting with us and our friends, then going to general pics inside the tent of the other revelers.
Some of the other cool costumes….
Some of the winning groups on stage…
Views of the festivities in the tent!….