Christmas 1991

A long and consistent friendship connects Norway and Croatia. In December 1991, a huge Christmas tree was lit at the Ban Jelacic Square in the centre of Zagreb. The tree had travelled over 3600 km - all the way from Tromsø in Northern Norway. Tromsø is the sister city with the Croatian capital – and the Christmas tree was a token of friendship and solidarity during the war.


Photo: Večernji list, 16.12.1991. „Svjetlo za budućnost i mir“ – National and University Library in Zagreb.

 “This is a symbolic act which is intended to mark the beginning of a major Norwegian humanitarian aid campaign”, said the mayor of Tromsø at that time, which came to Zagreb in gesture of lightening up the Christmas tree.

The initiators and organizers behind the Christmas tree idea was SOS-Croatia, a joint project between the Croatian Association in Norway, Norwegian – Croatian Association and Norwegian Peoples Aid. The transportation was conducted by couragous truck drivers from the Norwegian Transport Central.

Since then, several trucks have been loaded with humanitarian aid and other necessities, such as medicines, clothes and food. The contributions were gathered by nearly 30 local SOS – Croatia branch offices.