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What is Kurentovanje Carnival
Kurentovanje is Slovenia's main cultural and ethnographic festival of national importance. This carnival signifies that the winter has ended and that spring has begun.
The town's squares and streets become witness to all the revelry, with parades, concerts, masked dances and performances!
Need to Know
Held in the breathtaking old town of Ptuj, new experiences will surely welcome the visitors. Music, dance, local cuisine and high-quality wines can be expected! It is said that more than 120,000 visitors are expected every year!
Did You Know
One interesting tradition of the festival is when the locals wear masks. Masks are also a reflection of the town's pop culture and politics. It allows them to embrace this mystical world, and escape the reality during this period, making it a truly memorable experience.
See below a great review from Petra, the travel blogger Erratic Engineeress.
Carnival, or Pust in Slovenian, is the time before Christian Lent, which marks the end of winter and celebrates the arrival of spring. Like in many European countries, Pust is traditionally celebrated in Slovenia as a merry, silly time when people dress up in costumes and try to scare the last remnants of winter away.
There are many traditional Pust masks all over Slovenia, but Kurenti or Koranti are among the most famous, which is why the Kurentovanje Carnival festival has also made it on to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Every year the Kurenti and their companions take over Ptuj, a town in northern Slovenia, for at least a week. The whole town is decorated and the parades are truly unforgettable.
Kurenti as traditional Pust characters date back to the Pagan times and represent wild spirits, which chase away winter and help spring take over the land and bring goodness and prosperity. A typical Kurent is supposed to look as if he has just escaped from Hell and made friends with the Devil itself and is always accompanied by smaller Devil characters in black or red. He has a sheepskin outfit, black boots and a leather mask. The mask is unique for each Kurent, featuring a long red nose and an obscenely long red tongue. Kurents also have 5 cow bells wrapped around the waist and they use them at every opportunity to raise the noise and send winter packing. Their origin is somewhat uncertain, but similar traditional characters can also be found in other Balkan countries.
The annual Kurentovanje Carnival festival always draws a huge crowd and other traditional Pust characters from neighbouring towns and countries also join the parades, so if you're interested in visiting, it's best to plan ahead, because the town will be full to the point of overflowing. There is a variety of additional cultural events happening within the scope of Kurentovanje, so it's a crazy week in Ptuj for sure!
Coronavirus is causing a number of event cancellations; we provide event website links on each page for you to check the latest updates.
See our Coronavirus page here.
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