Croatia takes Advent very seriously. The capital city of Zagreb was awarded 'the most beautiful Advent in Europe' several times. However, other cities in Croatia also hold spectacular Christmas events with breath-taking decorations, great music and delicious seasonal food and drinks. But Christmas is more than just beautiful lights and presents beneath the tree. It's the time of the year when we should remember those less fortunate than us and do what we can to help them. This important facet of Christmas has this year been recognised by students at Rijeka University of biotechnology.
For the fourth year in a row, their charity undertaking 'Balls of good luck', organised in cooperation with the city of Rijeka, will light up the streets of the unique coastal town. Students have handmade 1000 Christmas balls which they sell for 20 kuna, accompanied by a piece of paper for you to write your wishes and which are then placed inside. This year's earnings will go to finance a minibus for handicapped people and for the Animal Protection Society of Rijeka.
This year the balls are filled with dodders, also known as 'fairy hair' and have a bowtie on top. Yesterday and on Wednesday the citizens gathered on Korzo and Grivica Square to donate and then, with the help of the students, prepare their balls so they can be put on the city's Christmas trees.
With this year's Advent in Rijeka promising to be the brightest one yet, filled with content for visitors to enjoy, the balls of good wishes will shine brightly in a city that takes pride in its diversity and open, welcoming and kind community.