#29 Slavonski Brod – Brodsko kolo
Brodsko kolo, Slavonski Brod, Croatia, June 2013.
Held over a 3 day period in June within the sprawling ruins of an old fortress (tvrđa) in Slavonski Brod, a town in Slavonia on the River Sava, the Brodsko kolo is the oldest folk dancing festival in Croatia. Folklore ensembles (both dancers and musicians) travel from all over Croatia to perform here – as well as from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and elsewhere. Unlike some of the other ‘folklore’ festivals in Croatia, the Brodsko kolo is definitely not just a show put on for tourists (hardly any tourists ever visit Slavonski Brod anyway, which is a shame), but is an important and genuinely heartfelt piece of local culture. It is also one of the best opportunities to see traditional folk costumes, each – like the dances themselves – distinct to a specific region, town or village (the more elaborate folk costumes, many of them quite heavy, can take up to two hours to put on, and some of the traditional women’s hairstyles can take even longer to prepare). 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the Brodsko kolo.
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