Varbonj za Zagreb: Za Krizen 2020 Proceeds Donated to Earthquake Victims

Total Croatia News

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April 13, 2020 – After all the media attention about Za Krizen 2020, what a beautiful footnote and gesture – Varbonj za Zagreb. 

People often ask me what is my favourite time of year on Hvar, and my answer always surprises them. 

Most expect me to talk about the summer, or perhaps the more relaxed shoulder seasons. While these are amazing, if I could only visit my adopted island once a year, it would not be then. 

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It would be Easter. 

There is so much joy and celebration in the air, as the island wakes from its winter slumber, returning islanders home for the long weekend, enjoying family reunions amid this most important of Catholic events. 

After days of silence, the sound of the peeling of the Jelsa bells on Easter Sunday morning is one of the most joyous sounds imaginable, as was evidenced by the number of people who liked, shared and tagged others when I posted the video above from our terrace two days ago. 

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I was very fortunate to be able to attend the entire Za Krizen 2020 in Jelsa, and I managed to capture all six processions. I was also very happy to be able to contribute my eye-witness account of the whole evening, which differed considerably from what was reported second-hand elsewhere. You can read Za Krizen 2020, Croatia Not Wuhan & Cabin Fever Perspectives. (You can also find a Croatian version here)

I had the loveliest phone call of 2020 so far earlier today from Toni Bratanic, the father of this year’s cross-bearer from Vrbanj (Varbonj in dialect). He thanked me for the TCN coverage, including the video of Vrbanj entering Jelsa which was edited by my wife Miranda (above). 

And then he told me about a little initiative called Varbonj za Zagreb. Rather than me trying to explain it, here is what Toni sent me in an email which followed. 

Varbonj za Zagreb – Za Križen 2020

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Dear parishioners and all people of goodwill!

On the proposal of the family of Mateo Bratanic, this year’s “Križonoša” and with the support of the parish economic council, we are launching a humanitarian action for Zagreb called “Varbonj za Zagreb – Za Križen 2020” due to the recent earthquakes that occurred there. This benefit, which is very special, has taught us, among other things, about solidarity, in this case towards those who are left without a roof over their heads. And so, a little village by the name Varbonj decided to help the big city of Zagreb. A long-term tradition is that all of those who are in “Čosti” for “Za Križen,” donate physical and/or monetary gifts. Even people who are not in “Čosti” usually take part as well. This year’s Križonoša, Mateo, has decided to give up all gifts in favor of this action and all money planned to spend on lunch and dinner after Easter which is usually held for people who took part in helping in any way during the preparations and actual procession. In addition to gifts given to Mateo, people will be able to give donations to the Varbonj’s priest, don Mili Plenkovic but also directly to the church bank account.

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The account number is HR5824070001100623865 and make sure to provide a note “Varbonj za Zagreb” in the description. The parish will also donate “lemozinu,” money collected during Holy Week. We will be collecting donations until next Sunday April 19th, 2020. This is when we will be announcing the total amount that we have collected.

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Thank you and God bless! 

A nice postscript to a very emotional week here on Hvar. I will write an article about the amount raised after the final amount is known after Sunday. 

For more on TCN’s coverage of Za Krizen 2020 and previous years, visit the dedicated section.


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