Advent in Zagreb, or Madvent? Scratching Below the Surface

By 11 December 2018

December 11, 2018 - Advent in Zagreb, voted the best Christmas market three years in a row. But what is behind the scenes?

While most were full of euphoria at the sudden ascent of Croatia's capital city conquering Christkindlmarkt in Germany and other established Advent destinations in Europe, only one news portal went a little deeper and looked at the story 'behind the story'.

That was back in 2016, and while the story behind the story has not gone away, media coverage of it has. As is so often the case in Croatia. 

Until now, perhaps. 

An intriguing YouTube video on the official channel on Sunday brought Advent in Zagreb - the non-tourist version - back into focus.

Legendary Croatian political satirists Borna Sor and Domagoj Zovak, best known for their work at Newsbar, have teamed up with to bring an advent in Zagreb with a twist - a video every Sunday over four weeks to take a closer look at aspects of Advent in Zagreb which do not make it into the glossy tourist brochures. 

In their own words:

"Merry International Anti-Corruption Day to all from GONG, Domagoj and Borna.

"When it comes to Christmas markets, they say the best European one is in Zagreb. During December thousands of people are flocking to the Croatian Capital. But is everything really so nice, pleasant and honest as one would expect from the holiday season? In this short four-part series satirist Borna and Domagoj, are trying to explain the secret formula behind Zagreb advent."

I am learning not to comment on such things, as these lawsuits in Croatia can get pretty tiresome, but I think I am safe in commenting on the video that this is not the first time I have come across this. I look forward to the next installment. 

Borna, of course, is running the TCN podcast - you can catch up with his writing on TCN here

For more on Advent in Zagreb, follow the dedicated TCN page.