Vinkovci Autumns: Incredible Heritage of Slavonia (Photos)

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Vinkovacke jeseni Facebook

The 52nd edition of the largest folk festival in Slavonia brought a smile to everyone’s faces

The Slavonian city of Vinkovci is one of those places not many people outside Croatia know about, even though the charming city boasts a couple of impressive features. For example, it used to be one of the most significant railway junctions in Europe back in the day – major enough to score a role in Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’. It’s also the oldest continually inhabited city in the whole of Europe, and with that kind of history on its side, it’s no wonder Vinkovci is also home to the biggest annual cultural event in Slavonia.


Vinkovci Autumns (Vinkovačke Jeseni) is a folk festival launched 50 years ago with a heartwarming wish to share the beauty of Slavonian folklore with the world. The region has an incredible cultural heritage ranging from traditional music and dance to phenomenal cuisine, and it was only right to draw attention to such a scope of treasure. The festival aims to preserve all the facets of life as it once used to be, guarding the culture of Croatian rural parts from oblivion and introducing new generations to the rich musical heritage of Slavonian people.






The 52nd edition of the Vinkovci Autumns came to a close with a spectacular programme on Sunday, September 17. This year, the manifestation filled up an entire week with gorgeous folklore performances, traditional craft fairs, presentations of colourful traditional garments and intricate hairstyles, musical performances, concerts and parades. Even though the festival kicked off on September 8, the official opening night was held on Friday, September 15. Mayor of Vinkovci Ivan Bosančić greeted the audience with a touching statement, one that best describes the soul of this beloved manifestation:

“Welcome to the city that cares for the story of Croatian tradition for more than half a century. This weekend is a crown of our manifestation, and I’m inviting you to join us in peeking into the treasure trove of Croatian traditional culture and heritage, and to experience the beautiful customs of our homeland. On our streets and squares you can enjoy Slavonia with all your senses. This manifestation keeps bringing joy to everyone’s hearts, both to 10.000 people that are participating this year and to all of you who have gathered here today. Slavonia gave a plethora of wonderful people to the world, people who have dignified their native region with their words and vision; they enriched people’s lives, enticed their thoughts and made their hearts flutter. In the last 50 years, the Vinkovci Autumns managed to revive the past in its original form, successfully displayed the present, and at the same time, turned many younger generations towards the future, inspiring them to care about the customs of their ancestors and to love the Croatian land. We hope to inspire a sense of community in the Croatian people, as well as ignite their love for tradition and create some optimism we could very well use”, said the Mayor.


The opening programme titled ‘Ex Slavonia’ featured performances of multiple folklore ensembles, singing groups and traditional music bands, along with 14 professional and 4 amateur actors. Throughout the whole week, streets of Vinkovci beamed with colourful costumes and even more vibrant smiles; lines of traditional songs proved irresistible to the audience that was quick to join in.






Endearing scenes ranged from the smallest participants, like this cute little guy clad in traditional garments (and drinking apple juice)…


…to gigantic feats like staging the largest folk circle dance Croatia has ever seen.


As the mayor stated, the manifestation was a feast for the eyes, ears, taste buds.. and the soul itself. If any region deserves to finally come into the spotlight as a tourist destination and amaze the world with what it has to offer, it’s Slavonia. We can’t wait to see what next year has in store.



Source: Vinkovačke jeseni

Photo credit: Vinkovačke Jeseni Facebook


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