Novljanski Mesopust – carnival in Novi is a cultural heritage experience not to be missed!

The scents of sage, rosemary and wormwood, stone and the sea intertwine with the breeze of history and legend. Sail through time and get to know the centuries-old tradition of Novi Vinodolski!
"According to old customs and tradition” with "drums and music”, first silently and then more loudly and happily, the carnival festivities of the Novljanski Mesopust spread into every corner of Novi Vinodolski and its surroundings.
Carnival customs begin on the Thursday three weeks before Ash Wednesday in the Catholic calendar. From the first Thursday to Ash Wednesday, there are numerous events accompanied by a whole range of local customs, dances and specially prepared food and drink.
Over three carnival Thursdays, the MESOPUSTARI – a group of young men led by a so-called auditor, announce the marriage of old widows and widowers. The Sunday after the first Thursday is the "Wedding of Mesopust’s Bride”, announced by the older wedding guests, in which all the participants are men dressed in men’s and women’s folk costumes. The wedding takes place in one of the town’s inns. The culmination of the carnival begins after the third Thursday, on the night of Carnival Saturday, when people make and baptise the MESOPUST, a straw puppet representing a well-dressed man with a handsome face and a semi-cylindrical hat on his head. The puppet sits on a chair and is taken to the wall of the castle, above the square where people dance the kolo. He will be imprisoned and eventually convicted. 
Novljansko kolo circle dance
Perhaps the most impressive part of the carnival folk customs is the Novljansko kolo circle dance. It is danced on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Women and men wearing colourful folk costumes form a circle led by sopila players and singers who sing heroic folk songs, inviting others to join the circle that forms around them. The dancers alternate three steps: senjski, arbanaški and poskočica. The dance continues until the evening hours and is joined by many local inhabitants.
The carnival lasts until Ash Wednesday, when the dancing is interrupted and the Mesopust is put on trial by reading the Žitak, and then burned. This is the end of carnival until the following year. The Mesopust is declared guilty of all the evil in the town and beyond.
Dancing the kolo, singing with pivači singers, and seeing the beauty of the folk costumes is certainly one of the most impressive experiences of this unmissable cultural heritage event.
Visit us at this most cheerful time of the year!
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