Friday November 25 was the official kick-off of advent in the old city center of Osijek known as Tvrđa. Everything came together like a famous Christmas carols that have been passed from generation to generation. There was definitely the feeling of Christmas with the smell fresh roasted chestnuts on an open fire. This Baroque city that has survived for centuries embraced Christmas bringing the magic and spirit in full force. Audiences will be able to enjoy the event from now until January 1, 2017.
The old city was illuminated with rotating flood lights that could be seen from a block away. It was the perfect light show with carefully placed flood lamps that brought vivid Indigo blue to shine on historical building. The crews were still working hard adding the finishing touches were as the crane operator decorate the squares rooftops with a cascading lights. It is important to dress warm as you can easily forget about time and lose yourself in all the good fun.
There was something unique this year with a life size house made out of glass pop bottles. Each bottle was crystal clear and reflect the Christmas lights given the look of a house made out of ice. It had people lining up for pictures. Making the perfect attraction to send as post card or picture on face book. There was also a towering Christmas tree made out of bottles as well. This was a perfect place to be if you ever lost someone in the crowd, just text them and they would know instantly where you were.
For young children there was a carousel, Ferris wheel and swing ride. The carousel of horses and beautifully decorated pumpkin carriages made it look like a fairy tales. If one looked closer at the paintings on the carousel one could see Croatian historical landmarks. Amusement rides that glittered with bright white lighting brought out many smiles from young and old. The line of small white houses created the finishing touch of a perfect Christmas village with a toy store full of bright colourful wooden toys. A house filled with chocolate that would be a great addition for the Christmas stockings.
There was lots to see and do at Osijek advent this year as is get bigger every year. The food fair was amazing as it had everything from the area of Slovanja and Baranja County. With many local wines on the scene to choose from at one of the booths that will please every connoisseur. The other great specialty that has everyone talking about is “kuhano vino” (translated to Hot wine or cooked wine) This is a whole other story in itself. Kuhano vino is a European tradition and is something that is normally during the winter holidays. Here one could easily bump into old friends and new ones as this was the place to be. The atmosphere created with rows of small painted white houses and Christmas trees gave the feeling of being in a Christmas village beautifully decorated. With plenty of place to sit with friends and enjoy the surroundings. It was great to see antique wood burning stoves in these areas to keep warm and socialize.
Music that evening on center stage had incredible acoustics. It was great to here old classics and modern Christmas songs played. There was also amazing Jazz music that evening giving the old city the perfect vibe. With many smiles and laughter in the air making Osijek the place to be for Advent this year. Every day there is something happening and best to check out the official page Adventosijek.hr to see the full line-up of activities and events.