Traditional Bell Ringers in Matulji Part of European Capital of Culture Programme

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, February 23, 2020 – A festival dedicated to the tradition of bell-ringing in the area of Rijeka is taking place in the municipality of Matulji on 21-25 February within the “Bells and Nothing Else!” programme, which is part of events celebrating Rijeka as the European Capital of Culture 2020.

“Bells and Nothing Else!” is a programme which brings together 22 local council committees of Matulji, a community northwest of Rijeka.

The traditional carnival processions in Matulji, as the local annual carnival bell ringers’ pageant from the Kastav area, are part of UNESCO’s list of intangible heritage.

During the January carnival period, bell ringers march through the villages that dot the Kastav region. Clothed in sheepskin throws with bells around their waists and sporting distinctive hats embellished with sprigs of evergreen, two to more than thirty ringers swagger in groups behind a guide carrying a small evergreen tree.

Groups may also include theatrical characters such as a prankster ‘bear’ who regularly escapes the control of his two ‘guards’, according to the description on UNESCO’s website.

“With variations distinctive to each village, the annual carnival bell ringers’ pageant is a way to strengthen bonds within the community and a valuable means of renewing friendships among the towns in the region while integrating newcomers into its traditional culture.”

During this year’s marches, cooperation has been developed with the Academy of Performing Arts and the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre in Prague, the organisers of the “Bells and Nothing Else!” festival say.

More news about the European Capital of Culture can be found in the Lifestyle section.


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