City of Samobor

Samobor Carnival

Samobor Carnival is the one of the oldest carnevals in Croatia.

Samobor Carnival is one of the oldest carnival festivities in Croatia and one of the largest tourist manifestations in the continental part of Croatia.

The Samobor Carnival traditionally ends on a feast tuesday with the condemnation of Prince Fašnik and the burning of his doll, to ensure that the year ahead of us is without any negative impacts. The traditional carnival characters Prince Fašnik, Princess Sraka, Sudec (the Judge) and Fiškal (the Attorney) take over the keys of the city and proclaim the Free Carnival Republic of Samobor.

Every year, along with the traditional programme at King Tomislav Square, with the Carnival Princess Sraka, Prince Fašnik, Fiškal and Sudec, the programs for the visitors are held at several locations - a program of street entertainers, local committee manifestations and performances of folklore societies, a special program for youth and children, as well as numerous other events. In everyday events from morning to late evening hours, more than 3000 children from elementary schools and kindergartens, 800 members of local committees and their allegory chariots, as well as 1000 participants from carnival groups from all over Croatia are expected to participate.

The main features and importance of the Samobor Carnival are manifested in the long history, the large children's parade of elementary schools and kindergartens, in the large group of performing local committees and a large number of guest groups.

The difference from other carnivals is the political satire that is the legacy of Kompare's carnival (since 1860.), special in the critique of general social affairs (today's local, state, EU, world character) and the parades of allegorical chariots as an attraction that catches attention just as much as a children's carnival.

Brief history

The Samobor Museum keeps a record of the municipal council meeting dating from 1828, which states that the rental of a hall was requested in the Council building for the Carnival bal, bearing in mind that it was already used a year earlier. It is the first written document about the Samobor carnival, from which it is clear that it is being held from 1827. It was probably held in the earlier years but there is no written proof.

Important years of Samobor Carnival:

1827 - The earliest written record proves that the Carnival Bal was held in the Municipal Magistrate 
1860 - Josip Kompare starts to host the Carnival
1876 ​​- The Carnival Parade Committee on February 26th requests permission for a carnival procession that will not be "against the government"
1880 - a painting by Josip Kompare "Croatian politicians of the year 1880." entered the Carnival legends
1904 - the first issue of "Sraka" newspapers
1906. - Prince Fašnik becomes a living person, who plays on the stage
1941 - termination of Carnival due to the war
1966 - resurrection of the Carnival on the initiative of F. Ivanščak and continuation of the "Sraka" newspapers


In the 9th century, at the time of Grgur the Great, a church measure was enacted, which foresees the fasting should be held on monday and tuesdays before the Clean wednesday. The sunday that preceded the Clean wednesday was called, on Latin, dominica carnis privii, or "the no meat sunday". People simplified it and named it carnival or in translation, the "no meat day".

Somewhere around the 15th century, the fasting has been replaced by the vast circles with extremely opposite customs - with strong food, entertainment, drinks and masquerade under which everything is allowed. Therefore, the Carnival was created. The word "carnival" comes from  the words "to mask" and "to disguise yourself". Name of the Samobor Carnival - Fašnik, comes from the name of the feast tuesday, which was called fašenk in old Zagreb.