DONJA LOKOSNICA, Serbia – Tucked away in the south of Serbia is a village so famous for its bumper red pepper harvest and its ritual for hanging the crimson crop out to dry on the outside of houses that is has been popularly dubbed the paprika capital of the world.
Before the peppers can be dried, farmers in Donja Lokosnica, located some 300-kilometers (186-miles) south of Serbia’s capital, Belgrade, must first harvest the crop by hand.
In one epa image, an elderly farmer throws a freshly picked red pepper into a laden wicker basket between the rows of waist-high greenery.
Then comes the sorting and skewering process. Once loaded into storerooms, villagers get to work sewing twine through the tops of the peppers, pulling them together into tightly packed bundles ready to be hung out in the sun.
Another image depicts an older villager in a traditional headscarf gazing upon the bountiful supply of peppers that remained to be sewed on to the string.
As is tradition in autumn, the harvest is strung up onto the village’s walls, turning the whole settlement an ever darkening shade of red as the peppers dry out.
Almost all the village residents are involved in this agricultural tradition.
Much of the red pepper harvest will be used to manufacture paprika, a highly popular seasoning in the region.