The Slovenian Tourist Board will present and promote cultural tourism over the next two years. The four natural seasons are complemented by the 5th, the year-round social season of events. Welcome to Slovenia, a country at the crossroads of nationalities and landscapes.
The oldest items in the world found in Slovenia
The crossroads of the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Karst and the Pannonian Plains has inspired innovations for thousands of years. The oldest musical instrument in the world – the Neanderthal flute – which is older than 50,000 years, was found in Slovenian lands. It was made from the femur of a young cave bear and is on exhibit at the National Museum of Slovenia in Ljubljana. One of the oldest items in the world is also the wooden wheel with an axis found in the Ljubljana Barje wetland. It is more than 5,200 years old and surprises viewers with its precise and extremely well-thought-out construction. From 2018 onwards it will be on display at the City Museum of Ljubljana.
Summoning the arrival of spring
Spring is announced by the Kurentovanje Festival in Slovenia's oldest town Ptuj. This is one of the most important ethnographic festivals in Europe, where the age-old Kurent (also known as korant) rules. are the most characteristic Slovenian Carnival figure, wearing masks and sheep-skin costumes; around the waist they have five metal bells fastened on a chain, which they use to call for spring. With the interesting masks and carnivals organised all over Slovenia people bring to life customs that drive away the winter . The Kurent Festival in Ptuj will start on 2 February and the peak of the Carnival events will be Tuesday, 13th February.
Summer turns the town streets and squares into outdoor cultural venues. We recommend that you visit the Ljubljana Festival, which has provided excellent arts events ever since 1953. It is considered to be one of the largest, oldest and most important festivals in the broader region, every year organising concerts held by the world's most well-known orchestras. Maribor expects you at the Lent International Summer Festival. For more than 20 years Maribor has been hosting famous musicians and top street performers from all over the world, holding their performances in the most picturesque part of the town along the Drava River bank.
Autumn tribute to wine
In autumn Slovenia honours the grapevine and pays tribute to the wine-growing tradition. 11 November is the day when the must turns into wine and St Martin's Day celebrations take place in towns and in the countryside. Special celebrations take place at the Old Vine House in Maribor, in front of which grows the world's oldest and most resilient grapevine, which is also recognized by the Guinness Book of Records. It is more than 450 years old; it has its own city vine tender, and it still produces grapes.
In December Slovenian towns take on colourful lights and conjure up a festive atmosphere. In anticipation of the New Year Christmas markets are held on the streets of major Slovenian towns. They offer warm drinks and snacks – specialities include in particular mulled wine and šmorn (shredded pancakes), and give ideas for souvenirs and gifts and a visit of outdoor events. The lively activities on the streets culminate with the longest night of the year, when we celebrate the beginning of the New Year with spectacular fireworks.