Jarmok, pronounced yarmok, is a festival of the grape harvest season in Slovakia (at least, I think it is). While a few weeks ago we saw a dozinky, a celebration of the grain harvest, jarmok is a fair put on by the town. In Trnava, there are a number of sections: handmade crafts, everything for sale from clothes to kitchen gadgets, fair rides, food, medieval demonstrations, music.
I meant to walk to the various parts of jarmok and take pictures for you all, but after wandering for 2.5 hrs at the handmade arts section, I had to run back home. I just enjoy marveling over objects of beauty, even though I don’t usually have money to buy them.
So, following are some of the pictures from the handmade section. I tried to choose photos of crafts unique to or common in Slovakia, with explanations. There was some lovely pottery, and you can see what I bought on my Instagram account.
Trdelnik is a Slovak treat that waft sweet vapours through the fair; the smell alone is enough to ensure long line ups. Long strips of sweet dough are wrapped around a wooden cylinder and rotates as it bakes. It is then rolled in your choice of sugar and cinnamon, walnuts, and other toppings. Pulling on it causes the trdenik to unfurl and pieces are ripped off to eat.
Traditional decorated cups for drinking zinzica (z is like a soft French j, jin-ji-tsa), whey leftover from making sheep’s cheese. It is quite a bit thicker than whey from cow’s or goat’s milk and somewhat sweet, although it sours quickly.
The ubiquitous pumpkin seed. Roasted and salted, sometimes flavoured or shelled, pumpkin seeds are sold at any gathering of people, be it a fair or soccer game. There are fields of large pumpkins and while the seed is used, the flesh is usually given to livestock. I tried to cook some, but the variety usually grown for seeds is rather tasteless.
Fujaras, which I wrote about here, including a description of how to make it and a link to a video of the sound. It’s a traditional shepherd’s instrument with a haunting sound.
Which is your favourite? What kind of handmade crafts do you like?