The grand opening of the traditional 56th Vinkovci Autumn Festival (Vinkovačke Jeseni) has taken place in the eastern Croatian town of Vinkovci last night.
The annual festival marks the start of autumn, a season that Slavonians reap a lot of rewards for their hard work during the year.
Vinkovci Autumn festival is a celebration of the Slavonian lifestyle, habits and culture and aims to give festival goers an insight into all things Slavonian – including food, dance, music, costume and dialects.
“Good evening dear friends, welcome to the 56th Vinkovci Autumn. Welcome to Vinkovci – a city of a wide Slavonian soul, a city of proud people who know how to keep their customs and memories of a long and glorious past,”said the host to kick-off proceedings.
“It is an important message to the younger generations in these times of insecurity and uncertainty, a message about the moral and traditional life values of the people of this area who for centuries walked honourably through life and bravely kept their Slavonian and Croatian name. That is why the people of Vinkovci, let’s show this time what kind of hosts we are, how much our guests mean to us and with how much love and respect we approach the preservation of the invaluable heritage of our Homeland.
Vinkovci Autumn festivals have been a reflection of our city and its inhabitants for more than half a century. Always ready to embrace and host the guardians of traditional culture and visitors from all parts of Croatia and the diaspora, they tell the world the story of Vinkovci as a city of song, dance and smiling faces,”said the mayor of Vinkovci in a welcoming speech.
Marred by rain, the 90-minute opening, unfortunately, did not culminate in a large fireworks display with the symbolic sign that another Autumn was opened, but regardless of the sky above the city, Šokadija’s joy continued in Vinkovci’s squares and streets, but under umbrellas.
The 56th Vinkovci Autumn Festival, which is one of the biggest manifestation of traditional culture in this part of Europe, culminates this weekend.
Saturday is reserved for the National Folklore Festival, and on Sunday the traditional festive Parade will take place in the city centre.