• Barbara Z.

A Pedacito of New Year's Celebrations In Croatia

New Years' celebrations are always special events for any Croat. They are something that has been planned months ahead with your family or friends. Every year, the main square becomes one of four locations to go to. You can pick and choose the music of your taste in one of the locations.

New Year's Eve is a special time in Croatia
New Year's Eve is a special time in Croatia

It is always filled with fireworks, good food, and selected music for every ear. Every restaurant has special new year's offers and private parties. Every year my go-to place is the New Year event in the main square.


It is a special day when I meet all the people I haven’t seen in ages and when we are always more than happy to say goodbye to the last year.


Funny tradition if you ask me, but I enjoy it on some strange level. Last year, New Year's Eve was canceled so I celebrated it in lockdown with my family and my friends on a group zoom call. Remembering the new year’s celebration the year before, the last one before COVID, that is the story I want to share with you today.


So, on Christmas eve in 2019, I met with my best friend Anna at brunch to discuss New Year's plans. I planned to go to the main square and listen to some music and, to be perfectly honest, eat fritters. But she had other plans. She surprised me with VIP tickets for a local club where she wanted us to celebrate the new year.

My friend at a New Year's celebration in Croatia
My friend at a New Year's celebration in Croatia

The winter was already unusually cold for that time of year, and the forecast said it was going to be very cold on New Year's Eve, so I said yes. We had one extra ticket so I invited one of my friends, Mark, to join us. I was super excited when he said yes, and when I hung up the call, my friend and I started to make plans for what to wear and when to meet.


New Year's Eve came and I was more than excited to finally say goodbye to 2019 since I thought it was not a very good year for me. If I only knew what I know today. We drove to the club in her car, looking our best, ready to say goodbye to 2019. Mark was waiting for us in a club and escorted us inside.

We ate sushi. I mostly danced because I love to dance, even if I’m not very good at it. I simply love that energy and I was trying to have the best time possible. They were drinking wine, I was mostly dancing since I don’t drink alcohol. Suddenly, my friend, whom I know from Uni, came to me asking me why I was not in the capital.

To my surprise, I asked why I should be. He told me that my favorite band was there, performing on New Year's Eve in the main square. I was sad at that moment but then something wonderful happened. Mark saw me sad and went to the DJ and asked him to play my favorite song from that band. Then he came to me and said, "Here is your song."


Needless to say, it was the best moment of that night. We danced the night away. Those are some of the moments when you realize what truly matters and what is the point of celebrating the new year. It is not just about changing the date on your calendar, It is far more than that. It is about friends who are family.

New Year's Eve, in Croatia, is about acknowledging the importance of friends and family
New Year's Eve, in Croatia, is about acknowledging the importance of friends and family

It is about those moments of realization when you reflect on the year behind you, making plans and promises for the next year. Deciding who is good for you and who matters the most, hoping to keep those who matter around for many New Year's celebrations to come. So next year, worry less and hug the ones that matter more. Happy New Year!

 

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