Slavonia and Baranja are so rich in culture and natural beauties that it would be a shame not to visit these parts of Croatia. This country has it all: a clear blue sea, tall mountains and beautiful as well as clear fields. Unfortunately, people are not really aware of these parts since they don’t get such an exposure in the media as for example the Adriatic Sea. I hope this post will make you want to come and visit us!
“Kakasütés” is a Hungarian expression, “kakas” means rooster and “ütés” means hitting. The main idea, in the beginning, was placing a rooster’s head on the ground and the young women of the village had to take a long cane and hit the rooster’s head. The twist was that they had to have a blindfold over their eyes while doing so. Whoever hit the head would get married that year, at least that’s what they believed in. Today they use a fake rooster head. This event has existed for more than a century and it involves plenty of wine and schnapps, food and fun. I would definitely recommend this event if you like dancing, music, tasty homemade food and drinks and also if you don’t get scared on seeing a huge rooster.
2. Paprika fest
This festival is a fairly new event. It started a couple of years ago and it is amazing. They have different kinds of contests, for example, who has the best ground paprika or who can cook the best fish stew. They also have small booths with food and trinkets, so you can always buy yourself or your loved ones something to remember this event by. This is not only a culinary festival but also a folk festival. Many folklore societies gather that day and they sing and dance for the crowd. If you like high-spirited people and you like to have a good time, you should visit them, you won’t regret it.
3. Gator Fest
Gator Fest is an event where you get to taste amazing wine and food and you can also enjoy the performances of street performers and the art of young artist. The main attraction of this festival is the “Wine & walk”. This is an “event within an event” where every participant gets a wine glass and a map of the area and they set off to the vineyards of Baranja. The participants have to finish a 12 km long route with 10 different wine cellars and in each cellar, they have to taste some kind of wine. On the long route, they are met with different surprises like challenges or actors who would make the whole experience more interesting for the wine lovers. If you are an adventure lover and you like to drink, this is a must-attend event for you.
A festival like this leaves no one hungry. “Čvarak” is a specialty in Croatia, it is basically baked fat and believe me or not, it is tasty as heck. This is a contest where participants indulge in making this extremely tasty culinary miracle. There’s always a first, second and third place, but I promise you, everyone who attends this event is a winner in some way because being there is already a prize on its own. If you’d like to have something to remember this event by, you can always buy a small trinket on one of the booths there. Also, “čvarak” is not the only thing you can eat, you can always try some nice homemade sausages and bacon too. If you like good food and even better people, this is the event for you!
5. Osječko Ljeto Kulture
Osijek Summer of Culture is the biggest cultural event in eastern Croatia and it would be a shame not to visit it. It hosts many cultural events like concerts, exhibitions, shows and much more. The duration of this event is two weeks and during that time there is something to visit almost every single day. If you like music, art, dancing, literature or theatrical performances, you should definitely come and visit them, you will have an amazing time! You can find their pamphlet online in PDF format, don’t hesitate and check it out! Also, it is hosted in Tvrđa, the oldest part of the city which is a beautiful cultural nest; you should definitely check it out!
6. Đakovački vezovi
This amazing event is so rich of culture, it’s really breathtaking. The main idea of it is to keep alive their traditions and to bring people closer to each other and to the culture of these parts of Croatia. Also, they always invite folklore societies from other countries so it’s always a rich mixture of different kinds of culture. This is one of those gatherings where these folklore societies are able to show how rich their culture really is. The whole city is involved in this event, everyone helps in their own way and everyone’s really proud of the outcome. If you like bright colors, good music, and rich cultures, this is the place for you!
7. Vinkovačke jeseni
Here’s one more beautiful event for the folklore society lovers. Autumn in Vinkovci is an event which in the beginning marked, as the name of the event already says, the beginning of autumn. The main goal of this event is to remember the old ways and to honor the old traditions and customs, much like in Đakovo. The opening is actually the most impressive part of this event because there’s a beautiful parade of people in beautiful traditional dresses, hair and head accessories and shoes. Everything about it is simply amazing. This event also hosts guest folklore societies so it’s a gathering point for different cultures where they can express themselves through singing and dancing. I would definitely recommend this event for people who are a fan of folklore.
8. Advent u Tvrđi
Advent in the Citadel, the old part of Osijek is one of the main winter events here in these parts. It is always beautiful and full of different workshops, concerts, and even contests. The square is full of booths where you can always buy yourself something really tasty to eat or drink or to buy your loved ones some interesting, handmade trinkets. The young and old enjoy together in the soothing tunes of familiar Christmas songs and in the nice and warm sips of hot chocolate or wine. The whole square looks like a small Christmas village, it’s truly magical and it breathes with a really positive vibe. I recommend this event for you if you are a true fan of the Holidays.
9. Slama land art festival
This event (exhibition) is all about a new form of art, land art. Each year artists gather to create something that will open up people’s eyes to different subjects. They use straw (“slama”) to create interesting sculptures. The main theme of the event changes each year, usually, it’s about problems which affect the whole world, not only these areas or this country. It is always interesting for the visitors because it offers various content. For the young ones this exhibition sometimes seems as a playground while the older visitors see the true meaning behind these straw sculptures. If you want to see something really amusing and fascinating that will make you think about certain things, this event is definitely for you!
10. ReArt Festival
ReArt is an event which focuses on art. It gives young artists a chance to show the world their masterpieces and to sell them. The main goal of it is to bring people closer to art and artists. It also offers many workshops and events like picnics, concerts, and shows. It is basically a gathering point for people who like art and who want to support artists. The booths are filled with handmade goodies like shirts, skirts, jewelry, and decoration for your home, it would be so easy to spend all your money there. If you like spending time with great people and amongst great art, you should definitely visit this event!
Updated: July 10, 2017