walk around zagreb for more than a few minutes and you’ll see them. intricately decorated red and white hearts with a variety of words, phrases and images on them. these aren’t the real licitari though – the real gifts are actually made out of gingerbread and certainly not plastic. dating back to the 16th century, licitar hearts were a preferred way of showing someone that you loved them. instead of roses, the licitar was enough. today the art form is only practiced by a few artisans around croatia, but one of the foremost is arko in samobor. following a method that is passed down from one generation to the next, making licitar hearts takes a long time, but the finished product is gorgeous. today they’re still purchased to give loved ones as gifts, as well as to decorate christmas trees. you can technically eat them, everything is edible, but i wouldn’t recommend it.