Slavonska Posavina (or Posavlje) hides many picturesque rural settlements and landscapes in which nature and culture merge into one. At the same time, of course, the trace of man prevails in some places, and nature in some places.
Its presence is perhaps most palpable in the (proto) forest reserve Prašnik, east of Stara Gradiška. Under the 300-year-old oak trees here – as they once covered the whole of Slavonia – you will feel small and inspired at the same time. Similar emotions will “shoot” you on the nearby protected pasture of Ivo, in the company of semi-wild Posavina horses and replicas of the old border čardak (guardhouse). Further east, the human hand feels stronger. In the Prisava village of Orubica, it must be very strong. Namely, the famous kolo is danced here on two pike, ie kata (at the end of August, the event of the same name is held). In it, eight boys dance on the ground, while the other eight climb on the shoulders of those on the ground and dance standing on them. Already in nearby Davor they are not so prone to antics. Apart from the preserved rural ambience, you can primarily enjoy the local fish gastronomy, especially during the Fishermen’s Evenings in early August.
A trip to the Posavina villages downstream from Brod – preferably by bicycle (eg the Sava route) – will take you to sleepy border places, elongated “under the thread” in a vast plain. If the road brings you here at the beginning of the year, at the time of the carnival, there is a great chance that you will come across the famous, 250-year-old custom of carnival riding. On his day, dozens, sometimes hundreds of traditionally dressed riders tour the village on horseback, singing and toasting. At the same time, they are greeted in the courtyards (courtyards) of some locals by a rich Slavonian table, for which, as is already the case in Slavonia, occasional travelers are also welcome. You can feel the atmosphere of the Military Border, but also of the traditional Posavina cattle breeding on the large pasture of Gajna near the village of Oprisavci. There, similarly to Iva, you will be greeted by a wooden loggia, a barn and a herd of autochthonous Podolia cattle and horses on free grazing. The atmosphere is similar at the nearby pond Dvorina, located between the Sava and the village of Donja Bebrina.
The surroundings of Brod, more precisely Brodski Varoš, hide one of the most beautiful love stories in the animal kingdom in general – the one about a couple of white storks, Klepetan and Malena. To his Little One, who cannot fly due to a long-broken wing, Klepetan returns persistently and faithfully, every spring, for almost 20 years! Malena’s “cuisine” may also contribute to her long-lasting love – Slavonian Posavina is an ideal habitat for many birds, among other things, due to the abundance of fish. If you are also interested in fishing, we recommend a visit to Lake Petnja northwest of Brod. Apart from the abundance of fish, this popular picnic area is also characterized by well-kept promenades and the generally relaxing atmosphere of a forest lake.
In the east of the County, in Sikirevci, you can experience the coexistence of man and nature on the property of the Živić family, called Mlaka. In addition, in Sikirevci you will enjoy top-quality handicrafts, since there you can find one of the most famous Croatian laces – the so-called motifs or Sikirevac sun lace, arrived in Slavonia from distant Spain at the beginning of the 20th century. They are also fashion-conscious in Podvinje, north of Brod. In memory of the cultivation of silkworms and silk, which was opened here by order of the military authorities back in 1777, the local KUD at the end of August organizes the event “Silk rustles slingeraj spreads, and Podvinje in jam and brandy calms.” As the longer name suggests, the event thematically connects the tradition of silkworm breeding with the general Slavonian culture of plum processing. Therefore, the abbreviated name of this event is simply Podvinjska Pekmezijada (if you are persistent, Podvinjci may reveal to you the solution to the problem that arises when jam meets silk).
The name Podvinja introduces us to another rich tradition, related to the hilly part of Slavonian Posavina. Numerous vineyards grow along the gentle and sunny slopes of the northern half of our County – from Cernik, through Stupnik, to Brodski Vinogorje. Their fruits are turned by hard-working winemakers into excellent local wines, the best friend of the rich Slavonian menu. Among the traditional wine festivals (Vinkovo, Martinje, etc.), Stupnička berba stands out, an event that marks the beginning of the harvest in the vineyards of Brodski Stupnik every year, with the inevitable presentation of old viticultural customs and the occasional sale of local wines.
All these customs and the richness of folk art are jointly presented as part of the oldest folklore festival in Croatia, Brodski kolo. The story of this manifestation began back in 1962. The event is also specific in that its programs take place throughout the year. However, the peak is during June, when Slavonski Brod and the surrounding places exude the spirit of tradition, folk costumes, luxurious carriages and singing Šokci and Šokice (traditional name for people from Slavonia).
Of course, as Brod is at the same time a regional center and a city of developed urban heritage, all fans of this type of event will come to their senses. In this regard, first of all, we should emphasize the Biker Meetings – boat motor race. In mid-May, this three-day event turns the Sava beach Poloj into a biker center of this part of Europe, filled with rock concerts, competitions or simply feasting in the shade with a beer.
Of the other music festivals, it should be noted that the Slavonia fest CMC 200 is held in the Brod Fortress, while Nova Gradiška hosts the Novogradiška Music Summer. In addition to themed music evenings, this event also includes a fair of local producers. However, in this respect, the championship belongs to the traditional ship’s Katarina Fair, which gathers craftsmen from the wider region every year at the end of November, and is special for the exhibitions and competitions of small craft breweries.