September 17, 2020 – Beginning today, one of the country’s largest and oldest annual folklore events – Vinkovačke Jeseni – finds new ways to continue the music, dancing and preservation of Croatian culture
Of all events requiring a serious rethink because of epidemiological guidelines, folklore is perhaps the most problematic. The traditional folk dancing of Croatia requires participants to be in close proximity. Often, groups are joined by the hand – and hundreds can join in. But, not this year.
Being one of the largest traditional folklore events in the country, Vinkovačke Jeseni (Vinkovci autumn) has had a lot of thinking to do. Having been enjoyed by inhabitants of the eastern Slavonia town every year continuously for over half a century, not to mention many thrilled visitors, cancellation was a last resort. And it’s one they have thankfully not reached.
The 55th Vinkovačke Jeseni is going to look very different to previous editions,. But its colourful costumes, wonderful dancing, great music and preservation of Croatian culture can still be enjoyed by all. Only this year, you’ll be enjoying it on TV.
Instead of inviting visits by hundreds of folklore societies (KUDs) from across Croatia, for the 55th Vinkovačke Jeseni, the event has visited them. From August 27 to September 4, a special film crew visited all of the counties in the country and made short films with local KUDs about the traditions, culture and customs of each region. These will be shown as video postcards at the ceremonial parade. Made by Plave Vinkovačke televizije (Blue Vinkovci Television), they will also be available for anyone to watch internationally until September 20.
The physical event in Vinkovci will still have its traditional parade of participants, and horse-drawn carriages will still parade through the town, although this year there will only be around 30 KUDs from the wider Vukovar-Srijem County in attendance. The opening event will take place on the main square and this year there will be no large tent for nighttime revelry.
All photos from previous editions of Vinkovci Autumns © Vinkovačke Jeseni