In respect to the tradition and customs and in attempt to preserve them, the tourist festival entitled “Shepherd’ days” has been organized in Serbia for years, on St Paul’s day, which is when traditionally fairs were held in villages, where shepherds would gather to compete in strength and skill. The gathering is held in Kosjeric, the place where the earliest roots of countryside tourism in Serbia had grown.
EVENTS AND FOLK CREATIVITY
Once, in almost every Srbianvillage there was a holy tree – shrine. Such tree was called zapis (lit. – inscription), because a sign of the cross was carved or inscribed in it, while the tree was consecrated. The holy tree was commonly located in the center of the village and represented its main cult place. Its role was especially stressed during the marking of the village holiday – zavetina (oath day), when the inhabitants would gather there like in a church.
The house has always represented a place where people want to feel tranquil and secure. But the man did not build a house just to find a shelter from the cold, thunder and storms, but it was his artistic as well as spiritual inspiration. In accordance with their simple way of life, the Serbs, built simple, yet functional housing throughout the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th century. A very few old houses have been preserved in Serbia until today, but we can still see what was the most important to old builders the construction.
Creek mills were once an inalienable part of the landscape and rural architecture in Serbia. Most of them are located in authentic, natural ambiance on creeks and smaller rivers, almost always surrounded by beautiful lush nature. The mills were grinding the grains and producing flour for the bread, which was the key food item among the people. Besides this productive purpose, the mills were also important places where the locals would gather for important discussions and passing significant decisions. As such, they also had a wider social function.
The Dragacevo trumpet gathering in Guca, a small town in western Serbia, is the biggest trumpet festival in the world, and ranked third among the ethno-festivals, right behind the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro and Octoberfest in Munich. Located under the Jelica Mountain, Guca has been the trumpet capital for half a century, the only one where trumpeters play by ear, from their hearts and soul. It is a sound to remember, and not even famous Miles Davis had not known the trumpet could be played that way.
Slivovitz, the brandy made of plums, has become the first trademarked Serbian brand with geographical origin. The home-made brandy from the village of Sljivovica, on the meeting pint of the mountains Mokra Gora, Tara and Zlatibor, in western Serbia, has been given the geographical certificate from the EU.
The jewelry from Kosovo, known as filigran, made of silver and gold threads, weaved like spider web, is known among the masters of this craft around the world as the association of Kosovo-Metohija. Also standing out is the making of the fine Silk from Prizren, with interwoven golden strands, which was used to make traditional costumes. Technological progress has pushed the hand-made jewelry and utilitarian items in the southern Serbian province to the background, so the value of this craft that has a long tradition is even more pronounced.
September in Serbia is marked by grape harvest and wine festivals, but also various other events that celebrate the offerings of the autumn, fruits and vegetables, which Serbian housewives use to prepare winter storage. Jam, juices, pickles, ajvar…those are traditions of the Serbian gastronomy, and praised by foreigners as well.
The climate changes every year and impacts all forms of life, but we believe the custom will remain in Serbia, to finish the harvest by St. Peter’s Day, on July 12. First week after that Christina holiday, the scythe harvest competition is organized on the Rajac Mountain, which is a symbol of the completion of those field works.
Rtanj is the last mountain in the Carpathian range, one of the three biggest massifs in Europe. It is located in eastern Serbia, and our famous geographer Jovan Cvijic had said it was among most beautiful and interesting mountains of that region.