What is Shrovetide?

Shrovetide represents a bridge between winter and spring. It was once believed that it lasted from the Epiphany to Shrove Tuesday. The Shrovetide date changes annually depending on the date of Easter. Although it is commonly connected to the arrival of spring, its name (in Slovenian: pust) reveals another meaning altogether – ‘pust’ and the international name ‘carnival’ both mean ‘leave meat’. The main day during Shrovetide is Shrove Tuesday, and the Shrovetide celebrations end on Ash Wednesday, which marks the 40-day Lent period of fasting before Easter. People wear different masks for Shrovetide – from traditional ones to masks that reflect modern social life. Shrovetide is connected to various traditions, Shrovetide dances, carnival parades, basically fun and tables laden with delicious Shrovetide dishes. 

Mischievous Shrovetide celebrations

The main Shrovetide celebrations are concentrated on the period from Fat Thursday to Ash Wednesday. This is when a number of interesting Shrovetide customs are observed. For example, in Cerknica, a witch is sawn, and masks known as Butalci take over local government. Shrovetide characters take over the governing of other towns as well. Log pulling is also an interesting tradition in some places where there were no weddings between two Shrovetide seasons. You can experience a special version of this tradition, borovo gostüvanje, in the Ravensko and Goričko regions. In some places, carnival masks visit locals, chase away evil spirits, and bring joy and laughter. One such event that should be highlighted are the door-to-door rounds of Kurenti, which have been inscribed on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The peak of the Shrovetide events are the many carnival parades and balls around Slovenia, and all this concludes on Ash Wednesday, when Pust, a stuffed Shrovetide character, is condemned and buried.

When the aroma of Shrovetide specialities reaches you from the kitchen

Usually, Shrovetide menus include heavy, greasy, and fried dishes. Pork dishes play a central role – pork soup, ričet (barley mush hotpot) with pork ribs, pork sausages, and a pork roast. Among fried dishes, fried leavened dough is predominant, as it is used to make krofi, bobi, flancati, miške, and other local delicacies.

Try a krofi and miške recipe

To truly experience Shrovetide in Slovenia, may the aroma of krofi (doughnuts) and miške (fried doughnut balls) come from your kitchen, too. Try these recipes for these two popular fried Shrovetide dishes.


Dance with Shrovetide masks

The largest Slovenian Shrovetide celebration is Kurentovanje in Ptuj, where a typical Shrovetide character called Kurent plays the main role. In addition to Kurenti, numerous places around Slovenia have their own special characters, such as laufarji from Cerkno, škoromati, Drežnica Shrovetide masks, and others. Shrovetide celebrations have had a long tradition in Cerknica. The Dragon Carnival is held in Ljubljana, at the coast you can join masks at the Istrian Carnival, in Maribor you can dance with Shrovetide masks at the main square, and the Shrovetide celebrations in Kranj can be enjoyed at Prešeren’s Carnival.


Shrovetide celebrations in Slovenia

Shrovetide masks chase away evil winter spirits and beckon spring. Observe the spring awakening of nature and join us in celebrating spring holidays.

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