The Valjevo prank is one of Valjevo’s best-known legends. It was also made into a play at the Valjevo theater scene more than once.
The deceased journalist Zdravko Ranković wrote the following text about this famous story for Revija Kolubara:
The Valjevo Prank
It is possible that there were other stories about the Valjevo prank as well. It is also possible that in these stories the people of Valjevo played pranks on the people of Šabac and Užice, as they did in real life.
This is the story which survived among the people from Valjevo probably because it was their favorite.
According to the story, once upon a time the people of Šabac set off to pick a bride from Užice county. For example, the village of Karan. Or if you prefer, the city of Užice. Their carriage was luxurious, and somewhere halfway they decided to spend the night precisely in Valjevo, probably in Tešnjar.
Some of those cheerful people from Šabac didn’t feel like sleeping, so they spent the night with a few cheerful people from Valjevo (whether these few were in the mood for celebration only that night or in general, this folk tale doesn’t state precisely).
Tomorrow morning the people of Šabac continued their way up the hills, leaving the ones from Valjevo to cure their hangover. And to prepare for another night with the wedding party from the neighborhood.
As a consequence of good rakija (at that time there wasn’t any other) not only did they get a headache, but sparks of inspiration as well.
Wedding Night Pt. 2
The most imaginative among them suggested that when the people of Šabac come by on their way back, they should themselves organize a wedding celebration as well, and that’s what they did.
Everything had to be done according to the protocol, the only difference being the bride, they dressed a beardless boy in a wedding dress.
When the people of Šabac arrived, they were even more cheerful than last time. The two wedding parties mingled, the night wore on, and no one went to sleep. There were many musician and different music, both sides played their local music, and we assume that they didn’t compete but helped each other.
We are also certain that they didn’t play “Tavala, tavala, the prank of Valjevo” that night because the song appeared only after this merry night.
At a certain point during the night, perhaps it was midnight, the Valjevo people suggested that the two brides be taken away to rest till dawn. The Šabac people thought it a reasonable suggestion. Many thanked their hosts sincerely.
In the morning the Šabac people went home happy and singing. You can probably assume that the most cheerful among them was of course – the bride.
As the story goes, our townsmen played pranks on our neighbors from Šabac and Užice as well. Nowadays, they play them on themselves, but without former ingenuity.
This is probably because no good rakija can be found anymore, which is why our inspiration cannot reach former heights.
The Valjevo prank: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOQR9OunOKc
Zdravko Ranković, October 2006
Taken from Revija Kolubara
Photo: Revija Kolubara
Translation: Marija Đurđević