Advent in Ogulin: Fair Prices, Magical Atmosphere and Snow

By 16 December 2019

You've no doubt heard about Advent in Zagreb, the award winning event the Croatian capital puts on every year which earned it an enviable status as the top European Christmas destination for three years running. You've probably also heard about Advent in Dubrovnik and Advent in Split, but what about venturing into Karlovac County and experiencing the much less talked about Advent in Ogulin?

As Novac/Gordana Grgas writes on the 15th of December, 2019, Ogulin's residents have organised a very special Advent in Ogulin manifestation this year, on the honourable topic of ecology. They began the initial preparations back in September, when the Straw Crafts Workshop first began. Twenty participants, for two months under the careful guidance of expert associate Marija Trdić Ćuk, made Christmas cribs of natural materials in their natural size.

Thanks to workshops for making bird houses and Christmas decorations made from bird food, conducted by young people from the Ogulin Ecological Society, the town got the first EDO EKO village for birds while the decorations were set up in the city park as bird food.

Eventually, the whole city seemed to be involved in writing the beautiful Advent in Ogulin story. Workers from the local timber industry, Bjelina, made wooden ornaments for the ice skating rink, and their decorations are on Christmas trees in the city park.

In fact, the vast majority of Advent in Ogulin's content and facilities have been created by Ogulin residents and local companies, and the food and drink on offer comes with a price nobody can really complain about, with certain rakijas which do just the job to warm you up on a cold wintery day coming with price tags of just 11 and 12 kuna.

At the location of Petar Stipetić Square is the Advent calendar installation, consisting of 24 pine trees in jars. Each carries one wish before Christmas: hope, health, happiness, family, home, goodness, faith, peace, honesty, knowledge, smiles, freedom, equality, joy, well-being, equality, understanding, humanity, humility, love, truth and light.

On weekends, the Advent Fair is held in the city park, where school cooperatives, associations and local artisans sell their handicrafts and are joined by their parents.

"Together with their children, they conducted workshops for the Children's Social Entrepreneurship to create Christmas decorations that they sold to raise donations for the Jagor charity, and to show the little ones the importance of being an entrepreneur whose primary goal is social influence, and not profit generation for the owners or shareholders,'' says the director of POU.

They have rightfully called it a fairy-tale advent, believing that it was worthy of the spirit of the tradition of this overlooked yet stunningly beautiful region of Croatia in which the famous Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić was born. While Advent in Zagreb continues to draw most of the crowds from at home and abroad, another, equally festive story is going on with Advent in Ogulin, and there's even some snow.

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