Easter in Zagreb and Croatia – people, food and customs

Hotel President in Zagreb and all our staff wish you a very happy Easter! I would like to say a few words about what Easter looks like in Zagreb and Croatia, and how we celebrate this great holiday. Just a 3-4 hour ride by car from Zagreb is Dalmatia and Adriatic Sea. Here I am in Split at the moment, sitting in wonderful small café by the sea, having an espresso and a short people watching session. Crowds flow down from the main Split bazaar, everyone carrying small cardboard boxes which keep producing this high-pitched squeaking sound. Being naturally curious I follow the crowd in the opposite direction to find out what are they buying, and stumble upon countless merchants selling adorable little baby chicks and ducks. Yellow, black, little clumps of soft fur huddled together to shelter from a spring morning breeze. As it turns out, it’s a local custom in Dalmatia for every family to buy a baby chicken or duck as an Easter present for their youngest members.

Baby ducks on Split bazaar.
Baby ducks on Split bazaar.

Sometimes other small presents (like candy and chocolate bunnies) are hidden around the garden or house so children should find them themselves. This often results in finding previous-year presents, which were not found the year before and parents forgot that those were ever hidden in the first place. All of this is done before a festive Easter breakfast, which is characterized by serving delicious boiled ham and eggs, served also in Hotel President and all the best hotels in Zagreb.

Easter Breakfast
Authentic Croatian Easter breakfast.

In religious families this breakfast food is previously taken to church early in the morning to be blessed during the morning mass. Families get together on this day, and further spend some quality time until lunch. Maybe the most characteristic Easter lunch for this part of Croatia is lamb meat, spit roasted, with baked potatoes and onions, in one of the hillside restaurants overlooking the Adriatic.

Mountain of Klis, above Split, Croatia.
Mountain of Klis, above Split, Croatia. In 16th century successfully used as a defense against Turks.

This kind of lunch can last for two or even three hours, before everyone goes home, bellies full and happy, for an afternoon nap.

Hotel President in Zagreb and all our staff wish you a very happy Easter. Have a great one!


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