Strasburg - The Croatian Christmas Village was officially inaugurated on Saturday within the Christmas Market in Strasbourg by the city mayor Roland Ries and Croatian Parliament Speaker Josip Leko. Croatia, the newcomer in the European Union, is a special guest at this Market, the oldest Christmas market in Europe with its tradition dating back to 1570.
Today's ceremony of opening the village included a concert of the acappella band “Sveti Juraj” of the Croatian Navy. "The invitation to Croatia to be a special guest has multifold significance, not only an economic one, and this is also a friendly move from the city of Strasbourg and France. Croatia is being promoted here as an EU member and it is presenting its possibilities," Leko said.
Welcoming Croatia as a new EU member, Mayor Ries said Croatia was a European country fundamentally, structurally and historically. He said he was sure that Croatia would bring its tradition, diversities and the beauty of its cities and coastal scenery into the Union.
Leko thanked once again France for its support to Croatia during its journey towards the European bloc.
It was in Strasbourg in 1570 that the very first edition of the oldest Christmas market in Europe took place, then called the "Christkindelsmaerik" (market of the Infant Jesus). Since this time, Strasbourg has continued the tradition of a traditional, authentic, warm and generous Alsatian Christmas and these are all the reasons why "Strasbourg, the Capital of Christmas" continues to enjoy repeated success," according to the web site of the Christmas Market in that French city. (Hina)