Mayor Tomislav Tomašević and Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac lit the first Advent candle in Zagreb's main square on Saturday evening, thereby inugurating the Advent Fair.
“The first Advent candle symbolises hope and the other three symbolise peace, joy and love. “I want Zagreb to be a city of hope, that everyone who came to this city because they needed help finds hope,” Tomašević said.
The mayor said he also wants Zagreb to be a city of peace and that no one, regardless of where they came from, should feel any prejudice and can build a life in Zagreb in peace. He also wants Zagreb to be a city of joy in which no one is underestimated or belittled.
“I also want Zagreb to be a city of love, a love for one’s neighbour, families, friends as well as for all the citizens of our city, and for this feeling of love to be felt in everything we do,” Tomašević said, telling everyone who will come to the Advent festivities to feel at home.
Among the guests attending the ceremony of lighting the first Advent candle were Sarajevo Mayor Benjamina Karić, Bosnia and Herzegovina Ambassador Elma Kovačević-Bajta, Maribor Mayor Aleksander Arsenovič and Omiš Mayor Ivo Tomasović.
Speaking to the press, Minister Brnjac said Advent in Zagreb was attracting more and more domestic and foreign tourists every year and that she was pleased with the development of year-round tourism, “which is in line with the government’s strategic guidelines.”
Zagreb Tourist Board president Martina Bienenfeld said she too was pleased with the arrival of many visitors and that this showed that Zagreb’s Advent was indeed a fantastic tourism product.
Speaking to the press, Tomašević said he expected 20% more arrivals and nights by the end of the year than in 2022.
This year’s cultural programme is the most diverse to date, with over 100 concerts and many exhibitions, shows and workshops, he added.
The first Advent candle was also lit in Split.