The last weekend of July a traditional festivity Jakovlja takes place. It is the biggest celebration of Kanfanar. Since ancient times this area has had cattle fairs right beside the ruins of what used to be a convent dedicated to this saint – St Jacob. In the early nineties of 20th century the tradition came to life again with the Istrian ox exhibition as the central event. These were the years when very few of the Istrian boscarinos were left and the entire breed was at the brink of extinctions. Keeping in mind the goal of raising awareness about the issue of Istra being this close to completely losing its utmost symbol, the citizens of Kanfanar came to an idea of the oxen show, with an addition of holding elections for the most beautiful, the heaviest and the most obedient Istrian ox. In the following years, greatly thanks to Jakovlja, the number of oxen had increased, yet the breed never ceased to be endangered.
Today, the Kanfanar ox show is attended by proud boscarino owners with sometimes weighing over a ton. After the opening ceremony, the parade goes to the public scale where the heaviest boscarinos are selected, followed by a spectacle of the old fashioned ploughing procedure with oxen. Visitors are welcomed to try this interesting skill. After proclaiming the heaviest, the most obedient and the most good-looking of Istrian oxen, there is a night-long celebration with a rich art, cultural and entertainment programme.
Nowadays, Jakovlja is also enriched with various other programmes, such as the Fridays’ gastro show Fuzijada, where visitors can learn how to make and cook this most famous of all pastas in Istria. That is, of course, the opportunity to try “fusi”, a kind of home-made pasta, with various sauces. The luckiest ones, as soon as the coupons are drawn, get a chance to participate in a – „Golden fusi“ search! If you are looking for unforgettable experiences in gastronomy, tradition, culture and history – welcome to Jakovlja!
Jakovlja manifestation is the Simply the Best for 2016 National Award winner, as the best manifestation inspired by local customs and tradition.