The book Croatian Carnivals presents the first synthesis of carnival customs in Croatia. It consists of three parts. Taking the difference between cyclic and linear understandings of time as his starting point, in the first part of the book the author deals with the vitality and appeal of the carnival; the etymology of carnival terminology and characteristics of various customs; the pagan and Christian elements of the carnival; the carnival’s place in the Christian calendar; its origins and boundaries; the relationship between the carnival and customs from Antiquity; the relationship between the carnival and Christmas customs (koleda); the custom of choosing the carnival king; the relationship between the carnival, weddings and death; and the issues involved in researching and interpreting the carnival. In the second part of the book, the author gives an overview of carnival events in various parts of Croatia. He describes customs in the regions of Slavonia, Baranja, Međimurje and Zagorje, and in the cities of Zagreb and Samobor , the mesopust customin the areas around the towns of Buzet and Kastav, in Novi Vinodolski and in Punat on the island of Krk, the Robinja custom from the island of Pag, the carnival on the island of Olib, the carnivals in Bukovica, Radošić, Kaštela, Split and Imotski, the kumpanija custom from the island of Korčula and the carnival on the island of Lastovo, and finally the Dubrovnik carnival and its Feast of St Blaise. The third part of the book is devoted to an analysis of various aspects of the carnival, including its magical and socio-critical elements, the restoration of social harmony through gender and age inversion, carnival texts, its characters, masks and puppets, animals, noises, movements and dance, food and drink. The book ends with the interpretation of the carnival as an interlude of folk culture that helps resolve social conflicts and strengthens cohesion and identity within a community.
Autor: Ivan Lović
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