Christmas in Croatia – The Local Traditions are Special

How Advent is Celebrated in Croatia

Like most countries, the Advent wreath is made from four candles.

This wreath itself signifies the 4 weeks of prayers during Advent or God’s endless love for all living beings.

The 4 candles have different meaning attached to them as listed below:

  1. Purple Candle signifies creation and hope
  2. Second Purple Candle signifies embodiment and peace
  3. Third Purple Candle signifies ending and love
  4. Pink Candle signifies redemption and joy

A fifth candle is sometimes added in the center which is known as Christ candle!

The Advent is also accompanied by an Advent Calendar. People either buy ready-made wreaths or make the wreath at home.

The Important Christmas Days in Croatia

Apart from St Catherine’s day, all other popular days are also celebrated and recognized in Croatia as listed below:

1) 4th December as St Barbara’s Day
2) 6th December as St Nicholas’s Day
3) 13th December As St Lucia’s/Lucy’s day.

There is this tradition on 5th December (one day before St Nicholas’s day) where children place their cleaned up shoes on the windows in the hope that Santa will leave some presents or chocolates inside their clean shows.

However, its not just about presents. If a child is naughty then he will get golden twig (as a symbol to correct his behavior) instead of the present from the monster Krampus.

If you have seen little green sprouts placed near Christmas trees then those are wheat which is set to grow on plates on St Lucia’s Day 

An old tradition in Croatia is of the yule log also known as ‘badnjak’.

The log of wood would then be lit on Christmas Eve. This tradition is fading as people don’t have fireplaces built into their homes or have less space in their homes these days.

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For Xmas food, people prefer to eat an item named ‘bakalar’ which is dried-cod.

They also offer fish to their guests. Chicken or Turkey is not served because people in Croatia treat Christmas Eve as meat fast.

Another food item which is popular in Croatia during Christmas time is ‘Krafne’.

These have filing od jam, jelly, marmalade or chocolate.

In Croatian language, Happy/Merry Christmas is pronounced as ‘Sretan Božić’. It is interesting to know how people wish Happy or Merry Christmas in other languages.

Christmas In Croatia: Top Destinations

Christmas In Croatia Top Destinations

Statistically, more than 85% of the population in Croatia are Catholics. This means that Advent is an important time for them.

For the last couple of years, Croatia has highly been considered as one of the most attractive countries to tour during the Christmas holidays.

In most cases, Christmas is associated with inland and popular cities such as Berlin and Budapest. But it is good to keep in mind that you will get unforgettable experiences when you consider touring the seaside.

What does Christmas in Croatia look like? Do you want to spend your festive season in Croatia? You are on the right track if you thought it was all about Christmas light decorations.

Do you know that Christmas markets in Croatia have been considered as a tradition for many years?

These destinations have proved to be some of the best places in the world to hang out with your friends. Here are the top destinations to visit in Croatia.

1. Advent In Split

Have you been looking for a beautiful place to spend your Christmas? There is no doubt that it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Nowadays, Christmas is considered as the second-largest traditional event in the city.

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You will have full freedom to enjoy stunning Christmas decorations, wines and souvenirs as you stroll on a sunny day.

Away from that, you will get a rare opportunity to know more about the local culture.

Which are the best places to visit in that case? There are numerous humanitarian events in the city.

In addition, you will get acquitted with the Christmas songs performed by different groups around the town.

2. Advent In Opatija

Have you ever toured this town in the past? You can agree with me that indeed it is a must-visit summer destination.

You will have multiple interesting things to do when you visit this place. Do you have an undying craving for sweets? In that case, you can plan to visit the Chocolate Festival.

What if you have kids? Take them to the Nature Park. It is just a few minutes’ walk from the town.

In the Nature Park, they will have good moments meeting Santa Claus. What should you buy for your kids? There is a wide range of authentic products.

Most of these products are homemade souvenirs. All that you need to do is to book your apartment as early as possible.

3. Adventure In Sibenik

If you have been looking for a unique place where you can get special treatment, look for no more.

Over the years, it has been gaining a lot of popularity among the Croatians. In fact, it is the only plastic-free Advent event you will ever come across in Croatia.

What does it mean? All cutlery have been manufactured from bio disposable materials.

What is the most important thing about this event? Many musicians from Croatia prefer participating in this event.

Also, your children are not left behind. They are treated beyond their expectations.

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Some people who have attended this event have attested that indeed it is a well-organized event that is worth your time.

Learn More With the Help of Video

Main Points About Christmas in Croatia

  1. Christmas preparations in Croatia start from the 25th day of November which is St. Catherine’s Day.
  2. Christmas eve is the biggest day in the Christmas season for Croatians. It is called ‘Badnji Dan’ (Christmas Eve Day). Many people tend to stay awake till Christmas day.
  3. At Christmas, it is not uncommon for young men to give the ladies they love a well-decorated apple during the season.
  4. Christmas eve is usually celebrated with loved ones and a yule log (badnjak) is brought into the house and it keeps burning until Christmas.
  5. Many Croatians usually decorate their houses using sprouts, wreaths, and trees. Hand-decorated cookies are usually used to decorate their Christmas trees.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Christmas in Croatia


Croatia starts preparing for Christmas already on November 25th – St. Catherine’s Day. As most Croatians are Catholics, Advent is an important time to celebrate as well.

A wreath of straw with four candles is traditional and on Christmas Day a yule log sprinkled with holy water or spirit may be burned and kept burning during the night so it doesn’t extinguish from neglect.

If you want to wish a Croatian a merry Christmas, say Sretan Bozic!

If you have been to Croatia on Christmas or stay in Croatia then do share your first-hand experience in the comments below.

Word Cloud for Christmas in Croatia

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Christmas in Croatia. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.