This past weekend Christmas trees from the northern part of Croatia have arrived in our markets and our holiday season feels like it has really begun. Although the town put up and decorated the very elegant tree on the Stradun a few weeks ago, the holiday spirit is now picking up speed. Shop owners have elaborate Manger displays in the windows and our small side street arches adorned with bay leaf wreaths.
It seems that the stars are twinkling just a few meters over the Stradun with the festive lights. Families stroll along with children in hand, stopping to admire the grandeur of the Christmas tree at Luza Square. The small outdoor cafes are busy with local residents discussing their holiday plans while sipping espresso and steaming hot chocolate topped with luscious whipped cream.
Yesterday was the coldest day of the year thus far. The Bura (north) wind blew at 100 kph (60 mph) during the afternoon and temperatures hovered around 3°C (37°F). In spite of the cold, the old town was crowded with local residents gathered in front of Sveti Vlaho (Saint Blaise) Church. The traditional Christmas season in Dubrovnik began as the Nativity came to life. One of the local Klapa groups sang Croatian Christmas carols as the children watched the live reenactment of Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus arrive at the manger.
Tony Maric and his family had the special vision for this staging of the Nativity. A deep felt hvala (thank you) to all of them for sharing this marvelous and unique experience.