13th international exhibition and conference
The case with the choice of beekeeper that is honeymaker is the same as with a café and your favourite coffee brand. You choose once and never change. In her time, Empress Maria Theresa proclaimed beekeeping a protected craft. “...In order to popularize beekeeping among our people, it is exempt from any tax or toll for all times...”, stands in the Patent on beekeeping from 1775.
A spoonful of health
Locust tree honey - the best cure for stress; meadow honey - it is difficult to count up all its benefits, but it will do wonders for elderly people and give them new strength; chestnut honey with its bitterness defies the saying 'sweet as honey' but is a great remedy for digestive difficulties and other disorders... Honey is healthy! This is a statement no one will even dare to deny. How healthy it really is, that is something we are yet to find out. But with great certainty and with no reason to prove it we can say for sure that honey has a wonderful taste, it is a special sweetener and is equally good today as it was when man reached for it into the beehive for the very first time (how did he even get this idea?). Istrian honey is of outstanding quality, but there isn't much of it, just as much as there is vegetation. In order to harvest as much honey as possible, beekeepers carry their hives to places even a few hundred kilometres away. This is one of the integral parts of beekeeping.
The long way to honey
In Istria it all begins in April when beekeepers harvest fruit honey and dandelion honey which is extracted until May. Then the hives and beekeepers, like real nomads, move in search of locust trees that yield high quality and delicious honey. At the same time bees are diligently collecting sage nectar. The next activity takes place in June when hives are transferred to areas rich in chestnut trees, which has become a very uncertain and modest source of honey. At this period there is no activity of bees in Istria, so the search for flower blossoms for the nectar takes beekeepers to areas of Gorski kotar, Kordun and Lika. This best speaks of the beekeepers' nomadic way of life and their readiness to cover several hundred kilometres every seven days to reach the faraway hives just for a few kilograms of sweet honey. In mid-September the bees return home. Then they mostly sip the nectar from heather and other plants blossoming at that time. For those who don't know much about honey making and its terminology, honey extraction is the process of removing honey from the honeycomb. So, after the last honey extraction in the year, beekeepers prepare their bees for the winter, leaving enough honey for them to survive - about fifteen kilograms in each hive.
6th international sausage festival
Friday, 2nd March 2018
19.00 Welcome party
Saturday, 3rd March 2018
10.30 Fair inauguration and assignment of best sausages awards
11.00 - 22.00 Duration of the Fair, full-day entertainment program in the square and in the hall
15.00 Gourmet event 2018: Sausages and Teran
17.00 V World Sausage Stuffing on Beka Championship
19.00 Gourmet event 2018 Finale
Sausages and Teran: tasting of Teran and sausages
21.00 Entertainment program in the tent on the square
Sunday, 4th March 2018
10.00 - 20.00 Duration of the Fair
11.00 Full-day entertainment program in the square and in the hall
12.30 Gastro show
18.00 Presentation of fair awards
19.00 Entertainment program in the tent on the square
World Sausage Stuffing on Beka Championship
The ancient Istrian way of stuffing sausages, which dates back to a period when meat used to make sausages was cut with a knife instead of being grounded with a meat grinder, is the so called “stuffing on beka”. In this case the beka is a freshly cut willow switch, the same type used to bind the vines in the vineyard or for basket weaving.
A beka was used to shape a loop or half moon, the beginning of the swine casing would then be tightened over this rounded shape, and the meat filling would then be put into the casing by hand. In reviving this ancient skill, which is closely related to the tradition of sausage making in Istria, the fair in Sv. Petar u Šumi is enriched with an attractive and entertaining competition to which many contestants from outside Istra apply.
The championship is conducted in two rounds: on the first day of the fair, all registered competitors pass through the qualifying rounds, while the finals take place on the second day during the afternoon. Each competitor, both in the qualifications and in the finals, receives 2 kg of finished meat mix, 5 m of swine casing, a willow switch called a beka, and is given 20 minutes. In that time, he/she has to stuff and shape as many sausages as possible, and points are assigned for speed, having a casing stuffing without air pockets or cavities, for the external appearance of the sausages and their total weight.
The World Sausage Stuffing on Beka Championships have been taking place as part of the European Sausage Fair since 2014. The title of champion, both in 2014 and in 2015, was won by Martina Andrijanić Bazo from Bukovlje near Slavonski Brod.
The AXA Cup, a mountain bike competition, takes place in different places throughout Istria and brings together a large number of aficionados of this sport.
The particularity of this event is the fact that almost every race takes place in the location of the event itself. The ZLIK Režanci race is an amateur race open to all categories, regardless of whether cyclists are licensed riders or amateurs. The number of tourists wanting to take part in the race grows from race to race.
The 20 km long bike race with an altitude difference of 140 metres takes place in Režanci close to Svetvinčenat at the beginning of March, on a circular macadam trail.
It is intended for mountain bike riders, whilst the entry-fee, which also includes a meal, is 30 kuna. Enrolments are made via the organizer's e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org or at the start just before the race begins.
Revival of Easter traditions
In March, the Easter spirit will rule over Žminj, a small picturesque village in central Istria, in which the event dedicated to pinca, the traditional Istrian Easter sweet bread will take place. This event reminds us of the not so distant past when the custom of baking pinca played a very important role during Easter festivities, and all visitors will be able to see and taste what people used to eat for Easter breakfast.
Hardworking housewives from all over Istria will show their Easter sweet breads and Easter pastries for tasting. They will delight in showing you how the pinca was once kneaded and baked by the fireplace and they will share their recipes. Pinca was once prepared in every household for Easter.
This was one of the few sweet dishes at the modest Easter table in many households. Women used to knead this sweet bread with raisins the day before in order to make the dough reach the desired size, and it was baked in large bread ovens. Unlike bread, the sugar, eggs and obligatory raisins are added to the pinca dough. At the end, the top of the bread is cut into the shape of a cross and decorated with olive leaves.
However, it is not just the pinca that is an unmissable part of the Easter tradition in Istria. Jajarice were also baked on this day for children. These are braided buns onto which a boiled egg is added to the top. Children were always especially excited about this gift, which they would receive with a painted egg given to them for Easter lunch by every member of the family.
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Tourist Board is not responsable for any decision of the organizers to change the terms, participants, programmes and prices or to cancel performances
Best Olive Oil Region in the world 2016, 2017 and 2018
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World's 2nd Best Olive Oil Region 2010 - 2015
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Already receiving significant earned media in outlets such as National Geographic Traveler Huffington Post and mention in notable guidebooks like Lonely Planet, international journalists and tour operators alike continue the praise heaped upon the Istrian peninsula and all it has to offer making it one of the world's top destinations.