riječki karneval

My first visit to Rijeka in 2014 was a stopover between Italy and a resort town on Kvarner’s coast. My second visit in 2019 was longer, exuberant and somewhat exhausting. The difference was karneval. My adventures in Rijeka during karneval 2019 were supported by colleagues, family and the Croatian Consulate in Chicago where I live. I am connected to Rijeka via the nearby towns of Poljane and Moščenićka Draga. My maternal grandfather grew up in Moščenicka Draga when it was a sleepy fishing village. Like many young men from the area he worked in Rijeka’s Torpedo factory before immigrating to the US around 1920. I became fascinated by anthropologist Ivan Loziča’s article, ‘Carnival: A Short History of Carnival Customs and Their Social Functions’ in the summer of 2018. When I learned the article was first delivered as a lecture in Moščenićka Draga I took this as a sign to dig deeper, experience karneval and explore Rijeka.

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