HALUBIAN BELL RINGERS (HALUBAJSKI ZVONČARI)
The Halubian Bell Ringers are on the UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Halubajski zvončari from the Kastav area are the famous traditionally masked participants without whom the famous Rijeka Carnival would not be the same. They are traditionally the loudest group in the procession, as the sound of their bells is louder than the noisy merrymaking echoing across Rijeka during the carnival season.
The appearance, just like the sound of the Halubian Bell Ringers, is pretty impressive, even frightening. The bell bearers are wrapped in goat skin with large bells hanging from the lower part of their backs. They have stylized masks on their heads, strange-looking animal heads with a red tongue sticking out and horns. They wear white pants and sailor’s short-sleeved t-shirts. In their hands, they carry a balta or a bačuka, types of stylized maces. Their origin dates to prehistoric times and that is why they have been proclaimed the best keepers of folklore traditions and the municipal identity of Halubje and the Kastav region.