Slovenian assets of intangible world cultural heritage of humanity
It is particularly important to preserve the cultural tradition passed on from generation to generation. Certain skills, knowledge and creativity of our predecessors are so extraordinary that they are worth protecting and preserving for future generations. Special attention to protecting and preserving oral tradition, dances, knowledge and skills can also be based on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which includes four sites in Slovenia.
Škofja Loka Passion Play
The oldest Slovenian play has been re-enacted on the streets of the medieval town centre of Škofja Loka since its origin in the time of Baroque. Rich costumes and scenery and the numerous, over 900-member ensemble of local actors attract many visitors to Škofja Loka for every performance. This is a historical re-enactment, which is performed every six years due to its complexity. The next performance will take place in 2021. Škofja Loka Passion Play was entered on UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Door-to-door rounds of Kurenti
When you hear cowbells in the Ptuj area in February, you will surely know that spring is approaching. The bells are only a part of the costume of a Kurent, a traditional Shrovetide character, typical for Ptuj, the Drava Field, the Haloze Hills, and the Slovenske Gorice Hills. A Kurent wears a sheepskin, a distinctive head mask, high-ankle shoes, and red or green knitted socks. In its hand, it spins a ježevka, a thick stick with hedgehog spines. Its roots are from Slavic mythology, and it is considered to chase away winter and herald spring and a good harvest. The door-to-door rounds of Kurenti have been entered on UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. A unique tribute to this custom are the traditional Kurentovanje celebrations in Ptuj.
Bobbin lacemaking in Slovenia
Bobbin lace is a unique artistic expression and one of the recognisable symbols of Slovenian identity. For centuries stunning products have been made by bobbin lacemakers, and the skill of bobbin twisting is passed on from generation to generation. Bobbin lacemaking is a manual production of lace by braiding, twisting and interlacing thread wound on special wooden spindles known as bobbins. Bobbing lacemaking is about following a pattern drawn on paper attached to a cylindrical pillow in a basket or on a special base. Today, Slovenia is home to over 120 bobbin lacemaking associations, sections and groups. Lace is meant to be a fashion accessory and decoration on clothes and home textiles, and today it is also an inspiration for artistic creations, in architecture and even cuisine.
Knowledge of bobbin lacemaking is also spread at lace schools. The first such school was established by Maria Theresa in 1763 in Ljubljana; the most known lace school today is the one in Idrija, which has been operating for over 140 years. It is home to the famous Idrija lace.
Dry-stone walling means that no binder is used during construction. Instead, the secret to its firmness is in the particular way stones are stacked up. It is popular around the Mediterranean area. In Slovenia, we can find it in the Karst region and Istria. The art of dry-stone walling, knowledge and techniques are on UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage and connects eight European countries including Slovenia.