During the carnival season, Slovenia comes alive with numerous traditional Carnival characters taking centre stage in events and parades across the country. Some customs have been preserved for centuries, recognized as intangible cultural heritage and even declared living masterpieces of national importance.
Slovenia’s Carnival season is a vibrant and culturally rich celebration that sweeps across the country, bringing communities together in a joyous display of traditional characters, lively events and colorful parades.
One of the most iconic figures during this festive season is the Kurent, prominently featured in Ptuj and its surrounding areas. These characters embark on door-to-door rounds, symbolizing the expulsion of evil forces and welcoming better times. The Kurent tradition has also been recognized by UNESCO. In Cerkno, the Laufarji take centre stage, wearing wooden masks and embodying various personas led by the central character, Pust. The Škoromati, the oldest Carnival masks in Slovenia, bring laughter and tradition to the southern slopes of the Brkini Hills on Shrove Saturday. With colorful hats and playful antics, the Škoromati engage in door-to-door rounds, spreading joy and humor. Throughout the country, various regions showcase their own distinctive Carnival customs. In Drežnica and Drežniške Ravni, “the Ugly Ones” throw ashes on young people, while “the Beautiful Ones” visit homes, dance, and gather gifts, creating a dynamic interplay of contrasts between good and evil. Cerknica transforms into a carnival town, featuring massive masks like Ursula the Witch, a Dragon and Butalci. Traditional witch sawing and a lively Shrovetide parade add to the festive atmosphere, making it a visual spectacle for all.
Major Slovenian towns also join the Carnival festivities, with events like the Ljubljana Dragon Carnival, Istrian Carnival Parade, Maribor’s central square celebration, and the Cheerful Carnival in Kranj. These urban celebrations infuse a modern twist into the traditional Carnival experience, attracting diverse audiences.
Slovenia’s Carnival season is a captivating blend of tradition, community and creativity, inviting both locals and visitors to immerse themselves in the joyous spirit of this cultural celebration.
See more at: slovenia.info