Malik Tintilinić, Domaći, Palunko, Kosjenka, Regoč, Potjeh and Stribor are the characters from the works by Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, a famous Croatian writer.
Those characters are known to every Croatian child, and now they’ve come back to their hometown of Slavonski Brod. Both the young and the old in the town are happy to see them walking around Slavonski Brod as a part of the event “The Advent of Long Ago” (the title of the event is a play of words based on the short story collection by Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić).
The town of Slavonski Brod created a whole new experience of Advent for their visitors but also for the people of the town, based on the fairy tale world from the writer’s imagination. Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić wrote some of her best works while living in Slavonski Brod, and the town’s main square is named after her. The hologram light spectacle on the water wall of the canal by the fortress of Slavonski Brod provides the unforgettable experience of the Ivana’s world of fairy tales. Numerous decorations all over the town invite you to take a photo with a favourite character of Ivana’s.
On the main square you can find a large pop-up book of “Tales of Long Ago”, where the visitors can find the Stribor’s Forest, dance with the Grandma and the Brownies, spend time with Quest, Maruna and Ljutiša and take a photo with the bride Neva by her mill (please, if you have no idea what we’re talking about, check out this treasure I just found while researching the translations for this article: the .pdf of the English translation of the Tales of Long Ago! I know what I’m gonna be doing on a first winter evening in Zagreb, reading the tales I’ve read many times, but in English.)
The locations are not accidental, as the legend says that the Brownies jumped in front of Ivana and her children, lead by Wee Tinkilinkie in their family home by the promenade, and the fortress where a lot of events for children are taking place must be the same fortress Reygoch saved.
Numerous workshops with original names are prepared for various generations of visitors: Hlapić’s red boots, Frozen Tinkilinkies, Stribor’s Wheat and many others. There are two skating rinks in the town, in the fortress and at the main square, and many concerts will be organized in this period.
Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić is one of the most famous Croatian writers, repeatedly nominated for Nobel prize in literature. She lived in Slavonski Brod, where the Tales of Long Ago were written while Ivana took care of her seven children. Published in Croatian in 1916, they saw their first English translation in 1922 in New York (accessible through the link above), and in the next ten years, they were translated to Swedish, Czech, Danish, Russian, German and Slovakian language.
To commemorate the memory of our world-famous author, Slavonski Brod started the project of the reconstruction of Ivana’s family’s house, with the intent to turn it into the Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić Interpretation centre. In order to create that world of magic and fantasy in the centre of town, they’re working with Helena Bulaja Madunić, who made Ivana’s tales famous around the world (again). In 2002, she and a team of international artists created one of the first animated interactive digital works of art in the world „Croatian Tales of Long Ago“. The project won numerous awards and can be accessed at http://priceizdavnine.net/. The town of Slavonski Brod plans to remember the most famous Croatian children’s author Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić in the future to a greater degree, creating the recognizable, innovative and valuable items of cultural heritage, which can become a worthy tourist attraction.