18th Kestenjada, a chestnut harvest festival starts in Hrvatska Kostajnica

If there’s one thing any Zagreb local cannot imagine autumn without, it’s chestnuts. Roasted, cooked, baked or caked, chestnuts are a favorite traditional snack for the cold and fog filled days of late autumn/early winter. It is no wonder then that Kestenijada, a chestnut harvest festival in Hrvatska Kostajnica (the name of the town literally translates into Croatian Chestnuttery) continues to be a popular two-day excursion for many locals.

Kestenijada let you pick your own chestnuts, up to 10 kilograms (22, 04 pounds), that you can then take home with you. The harvest takes place in the woods outside of Hrvatska Kostajnica, while different events occur in the town, from reenactments of medieval battles and town parades to live concerts and presentations of local folklore ensembles and associations.

The trip to Hrvatska Kostajnica (the town is in Sisacko-Moslavacka county, an hour and a half ride from Zagreb) is organized via train called Kesten-cug (Cug is a local colloquialism taken from the German word zug, meaning train, but we also use it as a measuring unit of tries to pull through with something, like pulling a hooked fish, starting a lawnmower or drinking shots) that departs from the Central train station at kralj Tomislav square.

During the festival Kesten-cug departures from Zagreb Central station at 9:18 h and arrives at 10:50 in Hrvatska Kostajnica, and leaves the same day at 18:18 h. Two-way tickets cost 40 kn.