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Kastav Carnivalbell ringers pageant

January/February Croatia

The Kastav Carnival takes place every year between January 17, St Anthony's Day and Ash Wednesday.
The regions of Kastav and Kvamer celebrate this tradition that dates back to the pre-Christian times when the zvončari which were bellmen, went around all the villages to chase away the winter and evil spirits with the noise of their bells and scary masks.

The locals start the carnival by blowing the Antonjski horn, members of all the masked troops from the Kastav region are gathered together in the central town square where they introduce their masks and Pust, an effigy made of straw that will be tried and burnt on Ash Wednesday.

During the parades, various groups from the participating villages perform different cultural dances that involve ringing the bells attached to their belts and colliding to create cacophonies of noise!

Every year, a carnival mayor is chosen from the maskers and it is then his job to preside over the town during carnival time.

The town of Kastav has a Carnival Statute which orders that on the first day of carnival time the Zlatna broskva or golden kale award is presented to the person with the best mask of the past year.

During the carnival, maskarani tanci or masked dances are held; the balinjerada, is a ferocious competition to see who can create the most original type of transport, as the show takes place the zvončari or bellmen are then welcomed.

On Ash Wednesday, the last day of carnival, the Pust, who represents the traditional culprit for all the troubles of the previous year, is burnt.

The city of Kastav is most well known for its cultural events, throughout time, Kastav has preserved a substantial part of its cultural-historical monuments and traditions.

If you are visiting Kastav, which is one of the truly beautiful areas of Croatia, you can visit The Museum Collection of the Kastav Region where you can see archaeological discoveries, pottery and jewelery found at sites throughout and around the region, as well as different artifacts and documents relating to the town's history can all be found there.

In Pelini, the oldest part of Kastav, there is a building that once housed the coppery, The Coppery Museum Collection, is one of the first Kastav County Collections ever established.

The museum has been set out so it resembles a former coppery workshop. Occasionally, cooper's trade presentations are held. Cooper's tools and familiar copper ware are exhibited and tasting of Kastav wines and spirits are held.

Kastav is situated in the northern part of the eastern Adriatic coast, in the north part of the Kvarner Bay, around 10 km west from Rijeka and 6 km north from Opatija, it’s also easily accessible from Slovenia.

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