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World heritage: ljelje, busos and the becarac

Category: Sights | Date: 25.06.2014.

Can you imagine that not so long ago there were no radios, no TVs, no phones, no computers, no cars? Some people can not believe this. They are asking how those poor people could live without these "miracles"?

Well, they lived just fine, because it was not the life as it is today. The song says it too. Lived, made friends, they were happy and fell in love, got married. Life was neither better nor worse. It was simply different and irretrievable. Traditions and folklore. All of this cultural heritage remains, embers of fires lit by the old generations, which used be danced around.

Let us show you which people's habits are listed in the world heritage list:


The Gorjana village queens were the girls who in the spring, during Pentecost, marched through the village, performed ritual ceremonies, sang, danced with a sword. There were Kings and queens: in the hands of the ten kings there were swords, their heads were decorated with flowers and a hat. The princesses wore a white veil, like the brides does. The kings chose lyrics from their wide repertoire, what were typical of the families they visited. In general, the girls sang to young people or brides. Then the kings danced whose steps the princesses commented on. Then came the dance with musical accompaniment, to which the whole family could join. Having received them, they went to another house. On the second day of Pentecost, they went to a neighboring village or small town. A large common feast and festivity closed the event at the host.

The lyrics were as follows:

We are flying, going to the king, we are taking off
Flying form palace to palace
Flying from one emperor's table to the other
Where the emperor is taking wine we fly,
The empress is sleeping,
The empress is sleeping, we fly,
He will be an emperor and she an empress, he will be emperor and she an empress , we fly,
With love in our eyes, with love in our eyes, we fly Became an emperor, became an empress, we fly
Here comes the King,
Here comes the Queen, we fly!

In 2008, on the 20 February, on the International Intangible Cultural Heritage Festival in Tokyo, Japan, Croatia was represented by the Gorjanac Association, from Gorjanac village, among the Eastern Slavonian villages which is located near Dakovo. The portrayal of the Queen, Lejla in 2007, became part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, became one of cultural goods of Croatia.


The period of Busójárás is a fun, carnival season, with horseback riding and festivities in Baranya. This tradition of southern Hungary is spread in the traditional villages of Baranya County and Eastern Slavonia. According to the legend, the Busos wore horrible masks to chase away the winter. It is also believed that the only reason people living here only put on masks was to expel the Turkish sultan and his army out of the country.

In Baranya, men and women can both be Busos. They put on the carved animal-shaped two horned masks, their sheepskin coats, they have a ratchet or trumpet in their hands. In Eastern Slavonia, in Osijek-Baranja the Busos can appear on other occasions as uninvited guests as well, for example: at weddings, at events of pig slaughter. In Croatia Busójárás is similar to the other carnival traditions elsewhere.

The masked participants of Busójárás are called the busós, who appear in the week of Busójárás on Monday and Tuesday. Among them there are beautiful and scary ones too. The scary Busos mask their entire heads with their masks, their bodies are covered with sheepskin turned inside out, they wear waist belts, where the ratchet is hanging. A white, below the knees straw knitted cotton pair of pants, they wear boots instead of shoes. The fearsome Busos hold a stick in their hands, a sword or a cowbell. The younger Buso boys and girls are wearing traditional dresses, often dressed as a member of the opposite sex. They are followed by musicians, they go together into every house, where no deaths have happened. If they receive a gift, they play music. There are many similarities in the customs of the Croatian sokač people's traditions and the people of Baranya County where partly Hungarians and Croatians live. The Busójárás is organized every year in Mohács, it has been an intangible cultural heritage since 2009.


Since 2011, according to the UNESCO decision Bećarac has become an intellectual heritage of Slavonia and Osijek-Baranja.

The bećarac folk songs, originating from Slavonian villages, due to their popularity they have spread to southern Hungary and throughout Vojvodina. They take the form of two to ten stanzas, couplets, in which the last words of the stanzas rhyme.

All "bećaracs" have the same melody with at least 24 measures, they are constantly sung. The main singer sings the first verse so that the audience can learn the melody variations. The second verse is the funny opposite of the first one, and it usually ends with the singer's laughter. The duration depends on the creativity and energy of the lead singer who usually has a strong voice, and wide repertoire and can combine the old and the new verses.

When a "bećarac" sings, you know that you will hear humorous, satirical and often lush songs aimed at making people laugh on less formal events. The texts are often changed even during the performance according to the premises, the event and the environment. Those bécaracs are preferred, who have a good way of presenting their wide repertoire, know the old and the new couplets, are witty, clever and can quickly create new verses.

Unlike other traditional Slavonian ten-syllable verses (svatovo, carnival, etc...) That are perform without any musical accompaniment the Bécarac is regularly performed with instrumental musical accompaniment , only appeares on special occasions, accompanied by singing, that is, without an ensemble playing.

The bećarac is a traditional vocal and vocal-instrumental song, which is an indispensable part of the social and musical life of Osijek-Baranja, Slavonia and Syrmia. It is fostered by various amateur folk music groups. It is an unskippable part of any folk music event.

Baranja is known for all its gathering to be cheerful. There is no festival in Baranja, where one could get bored. A good example is the "Baranja bećarac" in the village of Draz. Several folk groups perform, there is kolo and plenty of food and drink. In the village of Draz the most beautiful girls and ladies can be found and you can visit an exhibition on old clothes, see the handicrafts, antique furniture, tools, mysterious objects from our grandmothers' chests. It is pure faith, if you are interested in the tradition of the Baranja region. And of course it is great fun.

Everything starts with the beer
He drinks the beer and here comes the becarac,
When the outlaws finish my beer,
All petticoats are open wide.