1. Painted Easter eggs
    © Goran JakusStarting in early April, large, hand-painted Easter eggs (called 'pisanice') start popping up across Croatia
  2. Small green handicraft bird hanging on a wire
    © Stefan RotterEarly April Easter decorations vary: in Cres, for example, handmade birds also adorn the town
  3. Easter eggs, Koprivnica
    © Borislav MarinicKoprivnica is known for its naive-artist-made eggs, which the town gifts to cities across the world
  4. Exhibition of large Easter eggs
    © Borislav MarinixA close up of naive art on an Easter egg in Koprivnica's Zrinkski square
  5. Samobor
    © Mawardi BaharEaster souvenirs go on sale at marketplaces like Zagreb's Dolac (pictured), also starting in early April
  6. Palm Sunday
    © DuListPalm Sunday kicks off the Holy Week leading up to Easter - pictured are traditionally braided palm leaves, 'poma', from Dubrovnik
  7. Palm Sunday
    © PIXSELL / Dusko JaramazOlive branches are used on Palm Sunday too, and are, like palm leaves, blessed by priests before people hang them up on their front doors
  8. Easter
    © photojeongIn continental Croatia, Cornelian Cherry tree branches were used historically instead of palm and olive branches
  9. Easter
    © Maksim ShebekoPussy willow branches were another common replacement
  10. Easter olive branches
    © Goran JakusToday, however, modern transport methods make olive and palm branches available across Croatia
  11. Violet
    © Olga KozlovaStarting on Palm Sunday, young girls traditionally washed their faces with water and spring flowers, such as violets
  12. Eggs
    © Alex JamiesonSome subbed out the flowers for eggshells, a symbol of birth and regeneration since prehistoric times (and laden with calcium - maybe good for the skin?)
  13. Eggs
    © unicorn2016Eggs are traditionally decorated in the week leading up to Easter
  14. Eggs
    © Go DubrovnikAn authentic decoration method is boiling eggs in onion for colour, and pressing flowers to them (with old pantyhose!) for design
  15. Batik pattern eggs in Easter display
    © Steve EstvanikAnother method allows for even finer design, using...
  16. Palm Sunday
    © Zenasamja...beeswax! Beeswax is painted on eggs using a pointed object, to keep the design after colouring
  17. Easter
    © Maja MladenovicChildren also decorate 'Easter trees', with are blossomed branches adorned with ribbons and eggs
  18. Palm Sunday
    © Andrija MaurovicDuring the week before Easter, traditional postcards were also traditionally sent out (similar to Christmas cards today)
  19. Easter
    © Zvonimir AtleticCome Holy Thursday, processions led by someone carrying a cross happen across Croatia, like this one in Marija Bistrica
  20. Hvar
    © Hvar IslandThe oldest such Holy Thursday procession is UNESCO-protected 'Za Križen', which has been carried out on Hvar for over 500 years
  21. Faceted glass of hot water for tea in an ancient silver cup holder and two slices of bread
    © Aleksandr StepanovThen comes Good Friday, which means fasting: before the 20th century, people would only eat a slice of bread, a glass of water and...
  22. Wine
    © Jelena Katavicwine! This drink was, symbolically, tied to healthy blood and circulaition
  23. Cut open plum on the table
    © Dusanka VisnjicanIn continental Croatia, the Good Friday alcohol of choice (and availability) was rakija
  24. Palm Sunday
    © LedoMore recently, Good Friday has become a fish-only affair, with specialties like 'brudet' (cod stew) being served in Dalmatia
  25. In continental Croatia, on the other hand, freshwater fish like carp are eaten
    © Olenka Danileiko
  26. Palm Sunday
    © Velimir BlazevicOn Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday preparations continue: Easter food is placed in baskets, often with hand-embroidered clothes, and blessed at local churches
  27. Palm Sunday
    © Brod PortalThe process of food blessing, which involves most of the town, was an opportunity to show off in front of neighbours, with people arriving to church in decorated horse-drawn carriages
  28. Two pairs of hand touch together, helping hands concept. Helping
    © Krisana AntharithBut, it was also a day of charity and solidarity: people shared their food with their less-fortunate neighbours - no one was to be left hungry
  29. Easter
    © Rusty ElliottMidnight mass from Holy Saturday to Easter Sunday is a tradition still prevalent today
  30. Easter
    © Hsin Cheih LiuBut - church bells would not ring on Holy Saturday in the past, to show the solemness of the holiday
  31. Palm Sunday
    © VolksgruppenInstead, announcing mass times was a job for children who went around villages with various noise-makers (called 'čegrtaljke')
  32. Beautiful Mediterranean landscape during summer
    © Piotr KrzeslakFor the non-religious, Easter weekend is the perfect time to enjoy the delights of blossoming nature
  33. Close up of some oranges in a basket over a wooden surface
    © Paulo Leandro Souza De Vilela PintoSunday has arrived! Kids weren't always given chocolates on Easter morning; sometimes an orange was the only gift they'd get
  34. Easter
    © Sinisa BotasIn Croatia, an Easter breakfast staple is homemade sweetbread
  35. Easter
    © George TsartsianidisIn Dalmatia, this treat is called 'sirnica', in continental Croatia, 'pinca'
  36. pieces of homemade smoked pork ham on black background
    © Teresa KasprzyckaHam is another breakfast favorite, usually served after boiling
  37. Raw Organic Green Onions
    © Brent HofackerYoung onions are often eaten as a side to ham during Easter breakfast
  38. Farmer with vegetables
    © nikkiphotoRadishes are another freshly harvested Easter morning staple
  39. cheese
    © Yana GayvoronskayaComplementing it all is soft cheese, usually made within the family or by local producers
  40. happy mother and daughter having egg tapping with easter eggs
    © citiallianceBreakfast also includes an egg cracking competition: whoever's egg cracks, loses!
  41. Group Of Families Enjoying Outdoor Meal At Home
    © Cathy YeuletFor the non-religious and religious, the most important part about Easter is often spending time with loved ones...
  42. Easter
    © Heinz Leitner...loved ones and roasted lamb, which is served for Easter dinner, that is
  43. Easter
    © Maksim ShebekoA special side accompanies the lamb: you might know it as Olivier salad
  44. Shake your body
    © Dmitrii Shironosov
  45. Easter
    © Virovitičko-podravska županijaOne week after Easter, girls aged 14-18 traditionally exchange their prettiest Easter eggs, and so become close friends in a custom called 'matkanje'
  46. Palm Sunday
    © Rudmer ZwerverFinally, what's the bunny got to do with it all? We're not 100% sure: it didn't hop into popular Croatian Easter culture until the 20th century

In pictures: Top 46 photos of Easter in Croatia

Discover how the country's most-celebrated national holiday is observed

Written by
Lara Rasin

Behold the Croatian Easter works. We're taking you through the holiday season chronologically (from early April to after Easter), which includes:

- tasty Easter food from A-Z

- centuries-old processions

- why eggs are so important anyway

- modern takes on the holiday

and much more.

Get to know Croatia's most-celebrated holiday through our expert-made gallery showcasing Easter through 46 photos.

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