If you really want to be someone else for a moment, then the Pula Carnival is the perfect place for you. This festivity is traditionally held before Lent, and in mid-January, the Pula Mayor hands over the symbolic key of the City of Pula and all the powers it symbolizes to the Master of the Carnival. This moment marks the beginning of the period when Pula is under the "rule of masks", promising everything, reacting and criticizing current issues and events.
The most interesting sight is surely the carnival parade when hundreds of masks parade through town, in 2016 there were over 400 masks from all over Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia, entertaining the citizens of Pula and tourists along the way, and culminating in the masquerade.
On the day preceding Ash Wednesday (Shrove Tuesday), carnival events end with the burning of the "Pust" - an effigy made of straw, a the traditional culprit for all the last year's troubles.
The meeting of carnival groups starts in the morning at Karolina, where the carnival pageant heads towards Portarata Square, passing by the Arena, for the first presentation of carnival groups. Then they continue to Portarata Square where the organized and main presentation of carnival groups is planned at 11.30 am.
Fun for carnival groups continues at Giardini where all participants are invited to lunch, followed by a Big Carnival at Portarata for both carnival groups and spectators until 5 pm (in case of rain at Circolo- the Pula Italian Community).
According to tradition and custom, all Carnival events start much earlier, on January 17 with the Handover of the City Key to the Master of the Carnival at the City Hall. The "Pust"- traditional culprit for all the last year's troubles - is then hoisted near the traffic lights at Veli Vrh. On February 28, the burning of the "Pust" takes place, together with a special entertainment program and scrambled eggs "fritaja".