Topic outline

  • Gingerbread craft from the Northern Croatia


    Story of framework

    Two years ago, one family from Dubrovnik  decided to celebrate their daughter's 5th birthday out of the town, and since little Ema was born in December, Zagreb seemed as a perfect choice for their short family trip, as the previous year Zagreb had got the award for the best Advent in Europe. Vlaho and Maria wanted their daughter to feel very special for her birthday and experience the fairy tale atmosphere with the thousands of Christmas lights being turned. They visited a number of interesting locations around the city, but the real magic happened on the Christmas Fair in Bogovićeva street.

  • 1. The history of gingerbread making in Croatia

    There they found not only wooden cabins where mulled wine and fritule were sold, but also those that hid beautiful handmade souvenirs. In front of one of them, Ema stood mesmerized, enchanted by the beauty of one special, bright red ornament, lavishly decorated – licitar heart, and wished it as the only present for her 5th birthday.

  • 2. Who wants to know about the secrets about the craft

    Ema's mum is an American who met her husband while working on a cruise ship. She didn't know much about licitars and Croatian cultural heritage in general. At that moment she felt that it was high time to do the research and find out more about gingerbread craft making in the Northern Croatia. She got fascinated. This is what she has found out.

  • 3. Learning more about licitars

    Now, when she has got acquainted with the basics of licitar making, Maria has decided to try out her skills and make some beautiful presents for her family and friends, especially for Vlaho who is going to board the ship in a week and be away for about two months.

    As Maria was searching the Internet to find out as much information as possible and familiarize herself with the culture of her Croatian husband, she has run into this very interesting YouTube video, which opened another window in her exploration of the rich Croatian cultural heritage. She has found out who  the families that still keep the old crafts alive are.

  • 4. Marija Bistrica info

    Maria was also happy to be able to explain Vlaho and their daughter Ema that the production of licitar gingerbread doesn’t only take place in Zagreb as they have primarily thought and that the best medičari (craftsmen) were known to be in the village of Marija Bistrica. Even though licitars are not a religious symbol, they are popular as souvenirs for pilgrims to the village’s centuries-old Croatian National Shrine of Mary. And not only that, she has discovered that some Croatian souvenirs are so popular around the world that they could be considered ambassadors of this little country.

  • 5. Who likes getting the present for Valentine's day?

    Even though Maria kept herself pretty busy discovering a lot about Croatian authentic souvenirs, planning a new business and spending great time with Ema while Vlaho was working on a ship, she couldn’t wait for him to come back home and spend Valentine’s Day together.

  • 6. End of the story

    After talking about their feelings Maria and Vlaho have agreed that quality spent time together whenever they can and loving and understanding each other every day is more important than showing off romance on 14 February.