JenSop: The Singing Traveler!

Idealist. Dreamer. Singer. Explorer.

Rijeka Karneval 2016!

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Karneval Collage

Rijeka, Croatia.  February 7, 2016

Some of you may recall my post on Karneval (English: Carnival) two years ago.  It was my first time marching in the parade in Rijeka with Milos as we marched with the group representing his hometown of Crikvenica, Croatia.  ( CLICK HERE  to check out that past article.)


(We were scheduled to march in last year’s parade as well, but I started to get sick the day before and woke up the morning of Karneval with a terrible fever, so we ended up staying home and catching part of the parade on television.)


Rijeka’s Carnival is the third largest in the world; Rio de Janeiro being the biggest, and Venice coming in at number two.

(Please do click on that link above to read more of the history of the event!)

To basically sum it up, Carnival takes place on the last Sunday before the period of Lent in the Catholic calendar.   It’s a big giant festival complete with parades, costumes, revelry, food, and drink.  People celebrate all day into the late hours of the night.


This year’s parade in Rijeka had 110 groups marching in it, representing folks from all over Croatia and several other countries. How does it work?  Each group chooses a theme and creates costumes on that theme.  Many have floats as well.  In a way, it reminds me of the New Year’s Day Mummer’s Parade in Philly – lots of crazy costumes and lots of crazy drunk people.  Only for this parade, the onlookers are often in costumes as well – not just the folks marching in the parade.

Our theme for Crikvenica was “The Phoenix;” the flaming mythical bird that rises out of its own ashes.  Being a performer most of my life, I admit to enjoying the thrill of marching and dancing in the parade.  The forecast of rain had kept some folks away, but there were still large crowds lining the streets along the route.  Before and after marching in the parade, part of the fun was also walking around to observe the cool costumes of all the other groups.  There are people of all ages, shapes, and sizes getting involved in the celebration.

Different groups organize in different ways, but with our group, we each gave the equivalent of $35 dollars, and in exchange we got a finished costume, bus transportation to and from Rijeka, and a meal voucher.

The parade ended with the Halubajski zvončari as per usual tradition. Overall, it was a great day – the bus to head back to Crikvenica left Rijeka at 8pm, and we were glad to head back to get some rest and relaxation.


Here are some pics from Crikvenica’s Phoenix theme, and a few from the other groups as well.




And from some of the other groups….



Author: JenSop

One of my favorite quotes is, "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough." I guess I've been a dreamer all my life - I set my sights high and then I try to reach the sky. Some might call me a naive idealist, but that's just the way I am. I believe in always taking the high road, I believe in true love, and I believe in treating people the way you want to be treated. If you put good out into the world, good will come back to you! Being the dreamer that I am, I pursued singing as my primary life's calling - I've got two degrees in classical voice under my belt, and I sing just about anything under the sun. I also love a good adventure. Over the past few years, I've done quite a bit of world traveling, and have even lived abroad for stretches at a time: mostly in Vienna (Austria) and Croatia. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and I became a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. (Seriously, I KNOW Disney - I've been going regularly since I was a little girl - and I LOVE it!) And with all my experience traveling and living in Europe, I'm becoming quite the specialist in that travel category as well. (And last year, I started working as a Tour Director in Central Europe!) As to the other juicy details of my life - I'm originally from Pennsylvania, I'm married to an awesome Croatian man named Miloš who is the BEST adventure partner a girl could ask for. (He's also an expert on knowing how to make me smile.) He's truly the love of my life! I've also had all kinds of other jobs along the way, besides singer and travel pro. (Which is pretty standard for those of us who went to school for music.) I've worked part time weekends as a Disney Princess look-alike for children's parties. I've been teaching for almost 20 years, and have lots of experience in retail and customer service. Oh, and I should also probably mention that I'm a huge Lord of the Rings/Star Trek nerd! :-) Let's all go along for an adventure, shall we?

One thought on “Rijeka Karneval 2016!

  1. Pingback: Croatian Vacation Info | JenSop: The Singing Travel Agent!

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