Salaj Croatian Family Christmas Fairytale Opens in Čazma

By 6 December 2015

A Christmas lighting spectacular opens in Croatia.

The greatest "celebration of light" event in Croatia, the 14th Christmas Fairytale of the Salaj family, with a record of nearly two million lights at their ​​60,000-square-metre family farm, was officially opened yesterday afternoon at Grabovnica near Čazma. In addition to nearly 400,000 more lights than last year, the event will enable visitors to enjoy excellent food and wines, visit the traditional Christmas craft fair, see an exhibition of fairytale and cartoons characters, enjoy the fireworks and see 1,700 specially decorated trees, reports Vecernji List and Bozicna Bajka on December 6, 2015.

On the eve of the opening, the Salaj farm attracted numerous representatives of media and travel agents from Croatia and abroad, including a dozen agents from the British market who have already included the event in their tours, as well as numerous agencies from Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The opening was also attended by representatives of the Ministries of Tourism and Entrepreneurship, the Croatian National Tourist Board, and many other guests.

Welcoming them all to the official opening, the creator of the project and the "head" of the family Zlatko Salaj said he hoped that everyone will enjoy the event as much as he does. "This is the fulfilment of my childhood dreams which I started 14 years ago. I never imagined it would create so much interest and so much joy in visitors when they come to our property, and that gives me incentive to continue in the future", Salaj said.

Congratulating the organizers for everything they have done, Tourism Minister Darko Lorencin said that he was happy that he came there for the first time and added that everyone should visit Čazma because they will see something truly magnificent. "This event is a contribution to the development of inland tourism, which has an ever increasing importance and potential for Croatian tourism", Lorencin said and added that such events extend the tourist season in Croatia.

The number of lights and attractions increases every year, which is followed by an increase in the number of visitors and the costs. This year, costs will amount to about a million kuna. "Revenues from tickets, souvenir shops, food and drinks, and the support of institutions and sponsors enable us to cover the costs", said Ana Bertić, head of the Christmas Fairytale Cooperative. "This year, we expect more than 100 buses with organized groups, as well as an increase in the number of visitors by at least 10 percent compared to last year's 70,000 visitors", Bertić said, adding that the event would not be possible without the cooperation of partners and sponsors.

"The idea of the Salaj family is to use all profits to continue with the investments. Next year, we plan to build accommodation units, two or three small homes for four or five people, because there is a lot of interest for that", Bertić concluded.