Đurđevac - Picokijada

Đurđevac - Picokijada
The legend of Picoki (local name for chicken) is one of the most interesting legends in Croatian history. It speaks about the courage and cunningness of the people of Đurđevac, who were under a long siege by the Turkish army, but managed to set themselves free. After the failure of the Ulam-beg’s army to conquer the Đurđevac fort with one single attack, the army leader decided to implement a strategic plan of patient conquering of the town, in order to push the population to surrender by starving them out. At the moment when inside of the walls of the fort there was no more food left but one, single rooster, the people of Đurđevac came up with a desperate plan, counting on the factor of surprise. They fired their last piece of food from a cannon onto the Turkish army. Ulama-beg fell for their master plan and came to a conclusion that if they are firing food from cannons, they must have many supplies left, and therefore withdrew his army, threw a curse upon them, and proclaimed them ‘Picoki’.

From1968, the population of Đurđevac has celebrated this legend at the end of June with a unique open-air performance. The performance gets richer and richer each year. It is played out in the authentic location and includes hundreds of extras, amateurs, horsemen and professional actors. The whole scene from the history of Đurđevac is set up as to show this famous event in the most authentic way. Rifles and cannons really go off and swords are drawn along with the rich lighting and pyrotechnic effects.

The set up scene of the `Legend of Picoki` is a manifestation which has acquired the status of a protected non-material cultural good of Croatia and is just a part of the three day event, better known under the name `Picokijada’(the Picok Games), during which many other cultural and sports events are held. Visitors of Picokijada, which will this year be held 24 -26 June, will be able to see a real dessert on European soil. `Đurđevački Peski` (Đurđevac Sands) is the Croatian Sahara, a European dessert located close to Đurđevac, on swamp soil with a unique flora and fauna, in the middle of green pine woods of the park-forest Borik.

The Tourist Board of Koprivnica-Križevac County
www.tz-koprivnicko-krizevacka.hr

The Tourist Board of Durđevac
www.tz-djurdjevac.hr

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