Kikinda is a small town in north-eastern Serbia, and on one weekend of the year, they celebrate big pumpkins. Really big pumpkins. This year I was lucky enough to be there and see it for myself. Here are a few pictures so you can enjoy it too.
The Pumpkin Days (Dani Ludaje) are a harvest celebration that takes place in late September/early October. During Dani Ludaje, the whole town goes mad for pumpkins. There are prizes for the biggest and the longest pumpkins; prizes for the best pumpkin carving; lots of things to eat made with pumpkin; and lots and lots of pumpkins on display and for sale.
Every local women’s group must be baking for several days leading up to the festival, getting ready to sell their pumpkin-themed wares: cakes, slices, pastries, savouries… as well as other tasty delights like poppy seed roll (Makovnjača).
As well as yummy things to eat, there is a handicrafts fair going on during Dani Ludaje, where you can browse amongst paintings, pottery, jewellery, dried flowers, baskets, herbal remedies… make sure you have some space in your luggage to take something home with you. I was visiting Kikinda with friends and we made sure that we provided some serious support for the local artists.
If all the walking around gets too much for you. there are places to sit and eat. The market has a food section at one end (with a choice of grilled meats) and there are restaurants and cafes around the pleasant town square where you can have a sit down and enjoy some ice cream or coffee (and they make some very good ice cream and coffee in Serbia).
In the evening, there was a concert, which we didn’t stay for. But I imagine it was great to see someone performing on a stage behind some massive pumpkins.