The beauty of a country, region or an area is not defined only by its forests, mountains, rivers, lakes… Although the Plain of Macva in Western Serbia, which also houses the Municipality of Bogatic, is one of the most beautiful parts of Serbia, with many reasons for a tourist to visit it, its true beauty is made up of people who live here, hospitable and helpful people.
This region, known for its spirit of liberty and many great war heroes, is also proud of the list of its events, which have deep roots in history, and which the locals maintain and respect every year with special pleasure .
The most famous hero of this region is Hajduk Stanko (Brigand Stanko), and the Macvan people are proud of their brigant, free and rebellious past. This brigant is described in the novel “Hajduk Stanko” written by the great Serbian writer Janko Veselinovic, and in his honor in 1966 the manifestation “Brigant Night” was launched, which celebrates the freedom and heroes of this region.
In the beginning of August, a Brigant leader (Harambasha) is elected and, as part of this ceremony, the traditional “Macvan wedding” is held, the Brigant regatta, hunters and fishermen compete, the Art colony is held, the most beautiful carriage is selected…
The Machvan wedding
Perhaps the most beautiful of all manifestations in Bogatic is the Machvan wedding, where the old custom comes to life in the smallest detail. First, the wedding party gathers at the home of the young man who is getting married, then a procession is formed, to get to the house where the girl lives. After the wedding is done, the newlyweds return to the young man’s house. There are carriages in the procession, richly decorated. The “girl’s house” is located in Ethno Park in Sovljak, and that is where a play is held in full magnificence: the rifles are shot, the girl is “sold”, and traditional dances are danced. The procession eventually goes along the Drina River to the groom’s house.
The Machvan Brigant leader
A special event for the Machva is the selection of the Macvan Harambasha (Brigant leader). Since the Brigants, the heroes who roamed the forest and fought the Turks, are a strong part of the local tradition, many young guys from the region sign up each year to try to become the best in Machva. Harambasha was the leader of the Brigants, and the winner of this competition will proudly bear the name – Macvan Harambasha for the next 365 days. Young men compete in these disciplines: throwing a rock from the shoulder, pulling a rope, long jump, skipping a stump, fighting on a log and climbing a tree.
The Brigant regatta
This Boat Festival on the Drina River was first held in 2011, and since then it has grown in popularity every year. Dozens of boats with merry people descend from the village of Prnjavor to the village of Badovinci, and after six hours of floating and enjoying the beauty of the Drina River, they land in the place of Crna Bara, where the Drina flows into the Sava River.
The custom specific to this region is “Lilas”, or “Machvan Lilas”. “Lilying” has been organized since the late 1980s and consists of burning “lilas” (a type of torch made of straw or rubber).
In Badovinci, on the Drina River, Ivanjdan Days are organized, a manifestation that primarily serves to gather and entertain children. There is a fishing competition, children’s art colony, and the youngest learn the importance of nature conservation, especially about the rivers that have always been the basis of life. Cooking competitions are also held, as well as stone throwing, long jump, and tug of war competitions.
Metkovic merry machine
This is one of the more recent manifestations in the municipality of Bogatic, and the focus of Metkovic merry machine is one drink – brandy. In the center of everything is a large exhibition, ie competition in baking, but also evaryone can taste quality local brandy. In addition, there are masters of old crafts, such as blacksmiths and carpenters, who are happy to demonstrate their skills. Young cooks from a local school prepare food for visitors every year, and painters try to capture all of this on the canvas.
The Days of Janko Veselinovic
The writer who celebrated the Machva region is Janko Veselinovic, and every year in Bogatić and Glogovac an event dedicated to the memory of this great writer is held. The novel “Hajduk Stanko” by Veselinovic is one of the most famous works of Serbian literature, and every year, besides numerous visitors from the region and from all over Serbia, writers from all over Serbia also attend the event.
The Dublje battle
One of the biggest battles of the Serbian army in the uprising against Turkey took place in the village of Dublje near Bogatic in 1815. People gladly mark this battle, at the port of the Church of Christ’s Ascension in Dublje. In addition to a cultural program, painters, sculptors and folklore groups, there is also a competition for the title of “Duke of Dublje”.
For over 20 years, the Painting Colony has been organized in the Ethno Park in Sovljak, and it is custom that every artist who creates here, in almost ideal conditions, presents to the organizers one of his paintings at the end of this beautiful gathering.
This text is part of the project “Seven Wonders of Bogatic” co-funded by the Municipality of Bogatic.
Photo: Wikipedia / Vanilla
(Come to Serbia)