This, the 51st Kurent festival in succession, will take place this year from 26 February to 8 March. The event is attended each year by more than 100,000 people. The Kurent festival, or Kurentovanje, seeks to link old customs and habits to the modern approach to life, and to create a modern cultural, artistic and entertaining experience for all generations. In half a century the Kurentovanje has grown beyond its local confines, and has become a project with broad dimensions, breathing and living with the townsfolk of Ptuj, the oldest town in Slovenia, and with visitors from the region and beyond.
In this light, there is a fitting slogan for the 51st Kurentovanje – the Kurent drives away evil, and heralds clean energy. Visitors can check out the numerous costumes of more modern origin, while the high point of the Carnival parade is the appearance of a large number of noisy kurents. In recent years the people of Ptuj have also invited to their Carnival some fascinating kurent-like figures from other European countries. The entire programme of events is accessible at www.kurentovanje.net, while the Terme Ptuj spa has arranged special promotional offers for experiencing the town’s Carnival.
The tourist capacities of Ptuj and the surrounding area have also been geared up for creating a story about the synthesis of tradition and for the modern, traditional fun-seeking visitor. The Terme Ptuj spa, which is the main tourist service provider in Ptuj, has prepared a fun package, the Primus Hedonistic Ancient Roman Story, which will make sure that during the Kurentovanje, Ptuj will be an attractive tourist destination.
This year’s Kurentovanje is also a “dress rehearsal” for next year, when Ptuj, an invaluable partner of the European Cultural Capital, will officially open the cultural year with the biggest Carnival and ethnographic event in this part of Europe, and this will showcase Ptuj and partner cities as one of the most recognisable cultural capitals in Europe.
Another very popular Slovenian Carnival takes place each year in Cerknica – this year from 3 to 9 March. During Carnival time, authority in the town is customarily handed over to the funny Butalci, who are in league with witches that fly in especially for the occasion from the nearby mountain of Slivnica, as well as other costumed characters. Of the Slovenian towns with intriguing Carnival events, mention should also be made of Cerkno, scene of the traditional laufarija, the running around. The first Laufarji arrived on the streets of Cerkno back on 23 January, and the high point will be on Shrove Tuesday, 8 March. More at www.laufarija-cerkno.si, while an overview of all the Carnival events throughout Slovenia can be seen at www.slovenia.info.