One of the best times to be in Samobor is immediately preceding Lent, during the Samobor carnival (Samoborski fašnik; w fasnik.com). One of Croatia’s best-known and most authentic festivals, it dates from the early 1820s and – apart from a short period in the wake of World War II, when it was suspended – has been a permanent fixture in the town calendar ever since. On the weekend before Shrove Tuesday floats rumble through the streets in lively parades and hedonistic locals run around in masks, creating an impromptu party atmosphere. On Shrove Tuesday itself, an effigy named Princ Fašnik (“prince of the carnival”) is blamed for everything that has gone wrong over the previous twelve months and is ritually burned on the main square.

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