Kvarner newsletter / no 20

Bela nedeja – tradition lives on

In honour of the new wine, Kastav, a historical town located on a hill halfway between Rijeka and Opatija, will host the traditional Bela nedeja – a festival of wine, dance and song.

The Bela nedeja Festival, which this year takes place from the 2nd to the 5th of October, is a traditional fair in honour of the new wine. It is interesting to mention that this tradition was mentioned as early as 1400 in the Law of the Town of Kastav, more precisely in the part that regulates church and public festivals. Moreover, for the inhabitants of Kastav, Bela nedeja was even more important than New Year, because it represented a fixed point in time upon which many affairs and other agreements were based. It was the deadline until when one should return borrowed money, pay debts, finish the work, etc. But however hard the reality was, the Bela nedeja was always a period reserved for fun, dancing, and sampling new wine. This habit remained unchanged up to the present day.

If you decide to visit Kastav – a small town renowned for its preserved old town, customs and great gastronomic offer – during this festival, you will definitely have even more reasons for satisfaction. Respecting the tradition, Bela nedeja has always remained a fair, but is today in the first line a festival dedicated to celebrating ad tasting new wine and local specialities. Visitors, whose number is increasing every year, are invited to enjoy various concerts, folklore performances, exhibitions, concerts of traditional music and instruments, and to choose from a wide range of traditional products and souvenirs. The festival is organised by the Bršjanovac Municipal Society and the Kastav Tourism Office. The events start each day at 8 in the morning and last until 2 after midnight, so we can conclude that the beginning of October in Kastav will be very interesting, fun, and of course – tasty.