Do you know who are HALUBAJSKI ZVONČARI/ HALUBIAN BELL RINGERS?
Enveloped in sheepskin and a large bell on their lower back, with special masks of large horned animals and a protruding scarlet tongue, the bell ringers look daunting and overpowering.
The Bell ringers tradition goes back to prehistoric times, and their primary role was to chase away the evil spirits of winter and to keep the shepherds safe from evil forces in dense impenetrable forests. They were bearers of the new spring cycle and are even linked to the legends of the banishment of Turks from Croatian land. And how did they succeed to banish such a great enemy? The answer lies in their masks and the grand racket they can produce.
During the times of great slaughters, the bell ringers would visit villages of their homeland through traditional paths, and these brave masks cannot be stopped by any weather from carrying out their mission!
The bell ringers and their visits during the carnival were proclaimed an intangible cultural asset of significance in Croatia in 2007, and only two years later they were included in the UNESCO representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of the world.
You can see these folklore and traditional guardians for yourselves at the Rijeka Carnival on February 23rd, 2020. Their specific stage performance is definitely a first-class tourist attraction for all generations. You don’t want to miss it!