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Đurđevac – the Picokijada festival
The legend about the Picoki is one of the most interesting legends in Croatian history. It tells about the courage and inventiveness of people from the village of Đurđevac who have even in a helpless situation of a long lasting siege succeed to find a way liberate themselves from the grip of the Turkish army.

Namely, after an unsuccessful attempt of the Turkish army led by the Ulama-bey to capture the fortress of Đurđevac in one charge, the general decided to implement the strategy of a patient siege to starve the inhabitants, forcing them in this way to surrender. In the moments when there was no more food left inside the fortress except one rooster, the people of Đurđevac made a desperate plan, counting on the surprise factor. They shot their last bite of food, a rooster, with a canon to the Turkish army.

The Ulama-bey was tricked, convinced that if they had so much food to be able to shoot roosters like canon balls, they must have immense supply of food in stock to resist the siege. So he withdrew, cursing them and calling them Picoki – the chicken-people. Since 1968 the people of Đurđevac celebrate this legend by a unique open air performance, being increasingly impressive each year.

It is played in the authentic location where the legend has actual originated and included hundreds of extras, amateur actors, horsemen and professional actors. The whole play is set in the way to present this glorious event from the Đurđevac past as credible as possible. Rifles and canons are really shooting, sables are flashing with a richness of light and pyrotechnical effects. But the play “The Picoki Legend”, an event which has been given a status of protected national non-material culture assets, is only a part of a three-day event called the Picokijada festival when about thirty more other culture and sports events are being held.

The visitors of the Picokijada festival, which will be held this year form 25 to 27 June, will have the possibility to see also a real desert in Europe. The location “Đurđevački peski” (the sands of Đurđevac) is a Croatian Sahara, namely it really is an European desert, located nearby Đurđevac on a swampy soil with unique flora and fauna, in the middle of pine trees of the park-forest Bork.

Tourist Association of the of the Koprivnica-Križevci County
www.tz-koprivnicko-krizevacka.hr

Tourist Association of the of the City of Đurđevac
www.tz-djurdjevac.hr
 
 

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