Seasonal Zagreb

Zagreb Advent 2020 in a New Virtual Form

"This Advent is all about bringing light back to our lives which is also a perfect metaphor for more positivity and that warm feeling that Christmas time usually gives us. "

If you have ever visited Zagreb during Advent time, you know it is a big deal for us. From the lighting of the first Advent candle until the end of January, the whole city is in a Christmas mood and the holiday spirit is almost tangible. Zagreb Advent has also won the best European Christmas market award three years in a row, which is a fact that speaks for itself.  

Knowing all this, it is obvious that this year’s Advent will be a bit different. As a Zagrebian, it does make me a bit sad that due to the COVID-19 pandemic there won’t be socializing at Christmas markets this year, but I also understand that it is extremely important to be responsible and celebrate the holidays in a different way this season. Saying this, Zagreb Tourist Board has still planned different festive activities which will go on during the month of December, many of them in a virtual form. Advent will be a little bit shorter this year and end on January 1st.

So, here is what we can all expect from this truly unique Zagreb Advent 2020.

Image credit: J. Duval, TZGZ

Let's enjoy the Light of Advent

As I gathered from all the activities that will be going on throughout December, this Advent is all about bringing light back to our lives which is also a perfect metaphor for more positivity and that warm feeling that Christmas time usually gives us. This is also the main idea behind the project “The Light of Advent” , through which Zagreb Tourist Board encouraged cultural institutions located in the Upper Old Town, to decorate and light up their windows.

The goal is to create a sense of togetherness and also to encourage Zagrebians to also light up their own windows with Christmas lights and decorative details. I’m already fully behind this initiative because I’ve put my fairy lights on my balcony railings on December 1st. Usually, I do it a bit later, after December 15th but this year I think we all need that warm Christmas spirit a bit more.

Also, the neighbours who live across from my house have had their lights on since November, so I figured it is only right for me to return the gesture and give them a nice night view from their windows too. There is something about those fairy lights at night that just gives you a sense of warmth and festiveness so I really support this campaign and I hope absolutely every window in town will be decorated this year. :) 

Image credit: J. Duval, TZGZ

A very unique exhibition

“Virtual Christmas Windows” is the name of a truly unique Christmas exhibition that visitors will be able to experience this Advent. You may wonder, why is it so unique? Well, it will be held through the screens of our phones! A real digital experience fit for the year 2020 and the current situation. This is how it will all work.  If you want to experience this animated content, you’ll need to download the Equinox XR app which will enable you to experience more than 20 different city locations in a totally new holiday form. The detailed instructions on how to use the app and where to download it are written on the official Zagreb Advent page, so click here to find out more.

I’m sure I’ll try out this cool new way of attending an art exhibition in a virtual way. This really is an amazing way of using modern technology to give people a unique experience during these unusual times. As I myself work in the world of digital marketing, I can’t wait to see what Zagreb Tourist Board has prepared for us in this augmented reality experience.

Image credit: J. Duval, TZGZ

Experience Zagreb's Nativity Scene

Last, but not least of all the digital experiences is the “Zagreb's Nativity Scene” online exhibition. Every church in Zagreb takes great pride in its Nativity scene. There is a lot of effort and care which goes into setting up and decorating these little monuments every winter, so I think showcasing them all together like this is an amazing idea.

As it says on the official Advent website, this virtual exhibition will present numerous nativity scenes from Zagreb's churches from the past 15 years, through the archives of Tvrtko Beus.

In my opinion, Zagreb Tourist Zagreb has really prepared a beautiful set of projects and activities considering the current public health situation. I hope you will enjoy them in a safe and responsible way and make the best out of this unusual holiday season. :)

Header image credit: J. Duval, TZGZ

Author: Darija Ilić