Thursday, 1 September 2022

Festivals in September to Look Forward to in Croatia

September 1, 2022 - Autumn in Croatia is possibly the most beautiful time of the year. The air begins to cool down, leaves begin to turn brown, life returns from the beaches to the streets. One of the bast parts is the festivals in September that take place all over Croatia, from Ilok to Dubrovnik.

Journal lists seven out of many festivals worth visiting. These events will take us on a cultural journey along and across Croatia. 

Split Film Festival

The International New Film Festival will be held in Split from September 1 to 9, 2022. After last year's 'online edition', this year we will have the opportunity to watch films live again in the Karaman cinema. The twenty-seventh edition of the festival will once again show films in the feature and short international competition. The audience will have the opportunity to get to know the new films in the Croatian program, and a detailed overview of all screenings is available here.

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Milan Sabic / Pixsell

Dimensions Festival

On Thursday, the jubilee 10th edition of the Dimensions Festival starts, with which we traditionally say goodbye to the summer at The Garden resort in Tisno. The famous electronic music festival takes place from September 1 to 5, and for its jubilee, a real treat of a line-up is coming. You can check it out at this link.

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Dusko Marusic / Pixsell

Ogulin Fairytale Festival

This traditional cultural and tourist event will from September 9 to 11 make Ogulin a center of entertainment, good mood, fairy-tale creativity and a cultural program for children, youth and adults. This is an ideal opportunity for the whole family to spend quality time together and go to some of the festival scenes around the city with appropriate names - Regoč, Đulin vrt, Neva Nevičica, Stribor, Potjeh, Kosjenka and Domaći (characters from the fairytales of famous Croatian author Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić). The detailed program of the festival can be found here.

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Ogulinski Festival Bajke

Four River Film Festival

Karlovac will host the 15th edition of the Four River Film Festival from September 6 to 10. It is an international festival intended for high school films. Along with it, the 27th Youth Film Festival will take place, which will feature works created by young people aged 14 to 20. The festival program can be found here.

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Kristina Stedul Fabac

Vinkovačke Jeseni (Autumn in Vinkovci)

September also brings the 57th edition of Vinkovačke Jeseni. Our tradition will shine in full glory from September 9 to 18, when the sounds of the tamburica will resound in Vinkovci, and the gathered guests will have the opportunity to see what lies beneath the golden Slavonian sun in early autumn. Detailed information about the event celebrating traditional culture is available here.

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Dubravka Petric / Pixsell

Goulash Disko

From September 14 to 18, the island of Vis will host a special music festival - Goulash Disco. It is a festival that gathers artists who can be classified under the heading of underground music. In the description of the festival, it is pointed out that it combines "positive music, virgin nature and collective incredibleness". You can check the program of this year's edition of the festival here.

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Zeljko Lukunic / Pixsell

International Puppet Theater Festival – PIF

The impressive 55th edition of the International Puppet Theater Festival will be held in Zagreb from September 16 to 22. During the seven days of the festival, we will have the opportunity to enjoy twenty professional and amateur puppet theaters and troupes, which perform shows for children and adults. The entire program of the oldest and largest international puppet theater festival in Croatia is available here.

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PIF

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Travel section.

Friday, 19 August 2022

Brace Yourselves in Slavonia: Winter is Coming and Zimnica is Now

August 18, 2022 – Picture this. You live in Slavonia. You are 16, it is the height of summer, plans include swimming in the Danube all day and partying all night. Guess again. There’s more important business. It involves plums, apricots, tomatoes, peppers, maybe beetroots. And it’s not a very weird salad. You are now old enough to make your own zimnica.

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The winter staples - tomato passata, apricot and plum jam, pickled beetroots and peppers

While not a uniquely Slavonian event, zimnica, which is the Croatian word for anything that is kept specifically for the winter, plays an extremely important role in eastern Croatia. Preparing jars, bags, and dishes of fruits and vegetables for the winter is almost a form of art. Though things are different nowadays, winter in Slavonia used to be awfully long, cold, and dark, food was hard to come by, and it was of utmost importance to ensure that you preserved as much as you can. These days life is not as hard, and you can buy anything at any time, but the tradition does live on. Homegrown and homemade is always just so much better.

The preparations take place all summer long, as the fruits ripen, using various techniques. The most popular ones include pickling, jamming, and passing.

Pretty much any vegetable can be pickled using vinegar, salt, sugar, and water. The hierarchy of pickled vegetables is as follows:

1) Turšija is a mix of bell peppers, cauliflower, carrots, onions, and cucumbers, all pickled together in a plastic barrel. It takes top tier and gets served almost daily with all kinds of stews, meats, and even sandwiches, the adventure is in you.

1) Cabbage takes the same tier as turšija because it’s used to make a dish called sarma, which is the number one winter dish. It is almost mandatory to develop a love-hate relationship with it based on how often it’s made in Slavonian households.

2) Beetroots taste slightly sweeter, very red, never eaten while wearing white. Never frowned upon.

3) Solo whole bell peppers – neutral good, few hate them, few love them. Eaten if served, rarely an object of fear of missing out.

4) Other – like solo pickles, usually fetched when you run out of the good stuff.

5) Green tomatoes – now, that’s simply weird.

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Just like any vegetable can be pickled, any fruit can be made into jam or rakija. Rare are jobs that are as annoying as picking up plums, apricots, peaches, pears, or apples from the ground and separating them into three buckets: good for jam, good for rakija, and good for nothing. The latter is usually completely rotten fruit, which is the most fun to pick up, and that bucket is taken to the back to be composted. The rakija bucket is dumped into a big barrel where the fruit is left to ferment, later distilled, and poured into the nicest bottles to be served on every occasion. Finally, the good fruit is eaten or used in cakes, but more importantly, jammed. There are a few different recipes for jam, depending on the fruit. The ubiquitous plum is treated as the queen and can be found in cakes, tašci, knedle, crepes, and on the breakfast table daily. Try the simple trick of cooking a large clay dish full of pitted plums with some sugar in the oven for a few hours and thank us later.

Now, you might wonder why one would go out and buy 250 kilograms of tomatoes on a Wednesday morning. Because that is market day, and the tomatoes went for a good price. And the ones from your garden were part of one too many salads. One of the most important ingredients of Slavonian cuisine is tomato sauce. Sunday lunch is unimaginable without a good broth, followed by the meat that was cooked in it served with some of the red velvety goodness. Tomato soup cures colds, cases of flu, and an array of other illnesses. It also makes for an incredibly easy and delicious dinner.

The process of preparing passata for the winter has a few steps. First, invite friends and family to help. This is a group job. Second, make sure that you’ve got some tools like a tomato press with a questionable origin, which you might or might not remember buying some 25 years ago. Even better if it’s your mother’s. Third, have some coffee. Fourth and final, work for 12 hours straight washing your tomatoes, cutting them, boiling, pressing, boiling again, bottling, and tucking for a cozy rest of 36-48 hours. Now you can rest easy knowing that you can store your 60 litres per household, getting through another long frosty winter in Slavonia.

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Step no. 4

Traditional jam and tomato sauce are used in restaurants all over Slavonia and Baranja, where you can also try some of the dishes mentioned in the article, like tašci, sarma, and tomato soup. And that is just scratching the surface. Why aren’t you here?

How good is your knowledge of eastern Croatia anyway? Take the CROMADS test above - how many places do you recognise?

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Slavonia and Podravina, Wine Not?! Festival Announced

August 7, 2022 – September in Croatia is just the most beautiful time. For the best possible experience, in Virovitica-Podravina County they decided to make it wine month. Wine Not?

According to Press 032, the most anticipated wine event Slavonia and Podravina, Wine Not!? will once again gather lovers of wine, fine snacks, unique environment, art, and untouched nature on the famous Noble Route. The festival was announced in Orahovica, in the Patkoš boutique winery on the slopes of Krndija and Papuk.

The pink nocturne in noble dress in the unique Janković Castle on September 3 is the best introduction to as many as six exclusive wine events. A completely different experience awaits wine lovers on September 11 at a picnic in the beautiful Jankovac park forest of the Papuk Nature Park. Wine and art will be discussed on September 17 at Wine&Art in the Pejačević Castle in Virovitica, and on September 22 it’s all about Graševina in Dravska Priča in Noskovci. On September 24, a wine marathon will be held in Orahovica, followed by Wine and Poetry on October 1 in the Interpretation Centre – Petar Preradović's House.

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Pexels (Taryn Elliott)

“I am extremely happy that after last year's events, more winemakers want to get involved in this beautiful story. Three criteria are decisive for the selection of wines to be tasted at the six wine events – top quality, all wines must be from the area of ​​Virovitica-Podravine County and, of course, they must be available on the market”, noted the well-known oenologist Ivana Nemet, ambassador of the event Slavonia and Podravina, Wine Not!?

“In recent years, Orahovica has been developing in the direction of wine tourism. In our area, the green Silvanac produces excellent results, and we have become known in the wine world for that variety. I am happy that in addition to the famous PP Orahovica winery, we also have beautiful small boutique wineries with excellent wines that attract an increasing number of wine lovers to our city”, said Saša Rister, mayor of Orahovica, at the presentation of this year's manifestation Slavonia and Podravina, Wine Not!?

Martina Jakelić, director of the Virovitica-Podravina County Tourist Board, which in cooperation with the local tourist boards organises the six wine events, pointed out that this year's manifestation brings together important points on the Noble Route.

“For everyone who wants to be a part of this beautiful wine story, it is important to note that the number of places is limited, the registration fee for participation per event is HRK 100, except for the Wine Picnic in the Jankovac Forest Park, which will cost HRK 150, and the registration fee includes the rental of a picnic basket for two people. Registration forms and more information about the event can be found on the website of the Virovitica-Podravina County Tourist Board”, said Martina Jakelić.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Vukovar Ethno Fair Marks the Beginning of Autumn From September 24 to 26

September 19, 2021 - On the last weekend of September, locals and visitors will be able to welcome autumn in the best way at the Vukovar Ethno Fair, enjoying the best products, crafts, and traditions of the city.

From September 24 to 26, the city of Vukovar will hold its 14th Ethno Fair, in which the best of its local products, crafts, gastronomy, music, and folklore will be displayed, reports Turističke Priče. Both city residents and tourists will witness the arrival of autumn feeling the true essence of Vukovar and its people.

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(Photo: Vukovar Tourist Board Official Facebook Page)

The focus will again be on the fair of traditional products and arts and crafts, handicrafts and antiques, and food and beverage producers, where products and services are exhibited by producers from the entire Vukovar-Srijem County, but also Croatia.

We believe that in the three days of the fair, everyone will find something for themselves. Children will be able to participate in one of the five announced workshops in which they will make wooden toys, flower wreaths, shape clay…

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(Photo: Vukovar Tourist Board Official Facebook Page)

Lovers of tradition will enjoy the richness of folk costumes and performances by cultural and artistic societies, both domestic and guest. Namely, after the performance of KUD Kolo from Vukovar on Friday, the Croatian Cultural and Cultural Music Society Danube will host on Saturday the traditional 13th Meeting of folklore societies "The Danube to its city". On Sunday, the folklore part of the Fair will be rounded off by the "International Folklore Festival Zagreb - City of Vukovar".

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(Photo: Vukovar Tourist Board Official Facebook Page)

In Vukovar, you will be able to try gastronomic specialties from all over Croatia, as part of the fifth gastronomic event "Tastes of Croatia", but also to refresh yourself with Vukovarsko and other beers with a cultural and artistic program with beer tasting on the "Vukovar OktoBierFest".

The music part of the program of the Vukovar Ethno Fair will be opened on Friday by tamburitza players, the Tamburitza ensemble Sremci, and on Saturday visitors will be able to enjoy the performance of the popular and favorite Vanna. Tamburitza players will play on the last evenings of the Fair, but this time visitors will be entertained by the band Libero.

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(Photo: Vukovar Tourist Board Official Facebook Page)

On Sunday, September 26, as part of the Vukovar Ethno Fair, the Day of National Minorities of Vukovar-Srijem County will be marked. On the occasion of World Tourism Day, the Guides Association organizes a city tour on the same day, accompanied by costumed guides called Tourist in their city.

Therefore, book the last weekend in September for Vukovar, which always offers you more than you expect.

To learn more about the city of Vukovar, visit Total Croatia's complete guide, Vukovar in a page. Now in your language!

For more, check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 10 September 2021

16th Ogulin Fairy Tale Festival Starts Its Autumn Edition Today

September 10, 2021 - Festivals are not exclusive to spring and summer, and especially when the weather in Croatia continues to be pleasant in the first weeks of September, autumn has a select variety of events and places to visit. One of them is the 16th Ogulin Fairy Tale Festival, which starts today and lasts all weekend.

There is a city in Croatia where characters from fairy tales and legends gather. The town of Ogulin is known as the most fairytale town in Croatia and beyond. Turisticke Price reports that, for the sixteenth year in a row, the Ogulin Fairy Tale Festival will be held, where both children and adults can enjoy fairy tales and fairytale works by artists from all over Croatia all weekend long. This is the time when characters from fairy tales take to the streets of Ogulin and hang out with visitors for three whole days.

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(City of Ogulin Tourist Board)

The main part of the program of the 16th Ogulin Fairy Tale Festival is performances of cultural, educational, and entertainment content and the telling of fairy tales by various performers from all parts of Croatia and the world. In addition, there are various art, creative and technical workshops, dance performances, animation programs, concerts, sports events, and from this year, film screenings of films intended for the youngest and a music program.

Visitors can also see certain exhibitions, including exhibitions of birds and small domestic animals. And as befits a festival, there is an offer of various desserts and stands with local products, handmade items, souvenirs, and more.

(City of Ogulin Tourist Board)

You may be wondering how and why Ogulin got the "title" of the most fairytale city? This is due to the beautiful nature of the Ogulin area. As soon as you approach Ogulin, you will see Mount Klek, which looks like a sleeping giant and to which many legends are attached. In the very center of the city is the Frankopan castle, and across from it is Đulin's abyss, and in the background lies the giant Klek. In addition, there are beautiful forests, hills, meadows, fields, caves, rivers, lakes and other beauties.

This beautiful and mystical nature was the inspiration for Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, the most famous Croatian writer for children who were born in Ogulin. Stories from antiquity is a special collection of her fairy tales that have remained in the wonderful memory of many generations precisely because of their beauty, originality, timeless instructiveness, and whose characters walking through Ogulin you can imagine and see, you just have to awaken your imagination and children's curiosity.

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(City of Ogulin Tourist Board)

Ogulin Fairy Tale Festival is an event that is held every year, and this year in two editions: the second weekend in June and the second weekend in September. Due to the epidemiological situation, all the contents take place in the open space in the very center of the city on several scenes bearing the names of characters from the fairy tales of Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić.

The September edition of the 16th Ogulin Fairy Tale Festival will take place from September 10 to 12, and you can find the program at the following LINK.

For more, follow our travel section.

Monday, 26 October 2020

PHOTOS: Plitvice Lakes in Autumn Tones Create Beautiful Contrast

October 26, 2020 – On this day 41 years ago, Plitvice Lakes was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. A look at the famous park in late October when it is covered in autumn tones.

One of the most beautiful natural sights in Europe and definitely a must-visit place in Croatia, Plitvice Lakes National Park, is known for its magnificent travertine barriers that create 16 clear lakes separated by the numerous cascading waterfalls.

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Although Plitvice Lakes are known for the crystal clear water of lakes and green vegetation, in autumn their appearance turns into a real colorful landscape due to the yellow and orange leaves of the surrounding treetops.

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Plitvice Lakes are located in the Korana River valley where the travertine barriers block it, and the area of the national park stretches through Karlovac and Lika-Senj counties. Whether it is spring, summer, autumn, or winter, Plitvice Lakes exude their unique beauty at any time of the year, and autumn stands out as it creates a beautiful contrast between the orange leaves of the deciduous forest and the clear green waters of lakes.

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Anyone who visits Plitvice at this time of the year will not remain indifferent walking the wooden paths watching the waterfalls that make their way through the diverse vegetation. The lakes are now filled by the contrast of variegated deciduous treetops and clear lake water, as well as the contrast of fast and loud waterfalls defying calm parts of lakes.

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