Hello readers! This weekend my parents and I had the privilege to visit their friends in a mountain escape just outside of Belgrade called Rajac; which hosted the 35th Rajac Scythe Festival (in Serbian: Kosidba na Rajcu).
The main part of the festival is the scything competition where participants (dressed in traditional Serbian dress) compete with each other who can mow the fastest. The festival includes a lot of entertainment, luna park activities, food stands and of course local vendors selling traditional products such as handmade baskets, table cloth, wines and confectionery.
The stand which caught my attention, with its beautiful bright colours was a vendor selling Licidersko Srce. (in English: Licider Heart). These treats are used for decoration and as gift giving today, however traditionally they were given as a symbol of a man’s love. While today these treats are made in all shapes and colours, traditionally they were designed as red hearts with an inevitable mirror in the centre. Once a girl accepted the heart from her love, she would see her own reflection in the mirror and know that she is the only one in his heart. How cute!
The ambiance of the fair was electric! The smells of the various food stands and grills was crackling in the air. Every grill had two pigs and a lamb (1% of Serbs are vegetarian in my opinion – and meat is definitely a part of our heritage). Hundreds visited the stands which were set up along the main road cutting through the forest. There was dancing, eating and drinking, laughing and celebrating while Serbian music filled the tents.
A delicacy during this fair is called Kiseo Kupus (in English: sour cabbage) – and while this is a staple in Serbian cuisine, here it is cooked with kilos of meat for hours in a giant clay pot in the ground – the taste is more sweet than sour and the meat gives it added flavour. Pair this with some pork or lamb from grill, a glass of rakija and what more do you need!
The weather in the evening was simply ideal for a hike down the mountain, as we enjoyed ourselves with a lot of laughter and entertainment. While we were not able to attend the actual scything competition the next day, stay tuned for the next postcard to find out where we went! 😉
For all photos from this adventure, please click here!