Long known has been the great hospitality of local people towards all guests who come with honest intentions. Križevci is one of the oldest towns in the northern part of Croatia and its citizens are always in the forefront with their hospitality which is always gladly talked about. Our people are easily finding reasons for having fun, breaking the monotony of everyday life, and are always in the company of happy friends and in a way that will remain in everyone’s memory.
This is exactly what the Križevci Statutes are based on – a set of unique rules and regulations of behavior in merry societies with various wine festivities. Because, in order to respect everything at public festivities, not to insult anyone and not to be drunk, there were the Križevci statutes, the only written rules of good manners at the table, which have been mentioned since the 18th century, and without which the fun and merriment was hard to imagine.
In addition, the Statutes have patriotic, sociological and literary value, which stems from the fact that, according to the Statutes, three toasts must be held in every society: “a toast to the homeland, friends and the fairer sex“, in the old way of speaking.
There are two basic rules that the “Statutes” follow. First, “that the living truth is that young wine dilutes and cheers a man, makes him a sociable and a cheerful person, and reduces and beautifies many of his worries“. The second rule says “that wine and every strong drink if consumed by misunderstanding and excess not only poisons and destroys our life, but makes man inhuman and leads to many mental and physical evils.” Therefore, it goes on saying, “let us be friends of the merry fraternal sociability, let’s strengthen the old Croatian hospitality, let’s not alienate ourselves from honest and sober domestic camaraderie, but let’s run away like a plague from any excess that kills serious enthusiasm and enthusiasm, and causes a lot of evil.”
The Križevci statutes therefore primarily advocate joy and happiness in a good society where friendships, hospitality and good interpersonal relations are nurtured, but they explicitly warn that drinking wine and spirits is done with reason, because everything that is done excessively is not good for an individual, nor for society.
The name bilikum comes from the German word willkommen. Bilikum was any vessel from which a toast was drunk in honor of coming to someone’s house. The most famous are bilikums in three parts (the word trilikum, which people associate with a three-part vessel, is an incorrect name and means nothing), but bilikum could have been the most common purchase. Drinking bilikum was a very important act and as such was immediately entered into the house protocol. It was a book in which everything was recorded, from information about who drank bilikum and thus became a family friend, to other important information such as the birth, marriage or death of a family member, but also how he gave birth on the farm, what it was like harvest, how much must was obtained and the like. The house protocol was the most important book in every house and was kept in a special place, usually under lock and key.