Experience merriment and clownery in the streets
If you visit Slovenia at carnival time, you will certainly come across a carnival mask or two, if not even a carnival procession. Many towns and localities hold a carnival procession for a Saturday or Sunday carnival, which in some places includes a diverse accompanying programme. Here are some of the largest Slovenian carnivals that are definitely worth a visit.
The Ptuj International Carnival is considered to be the largest carnival event in Slovenia. This year, this will be the 60th jubilee edition when Ptuj will be transformed into the European Capital of Carnivals. Among the colourful masks you will find the outstanding Ptuj originals – the Kurenti. They are accompanied by other traditional characters such as orači (ploughmen), pokači (whip-crackers), kopjaši (spearsmen), ploharji (log-haulers), and other carnival masks.
Following the steps of the carnival tradition
Kurenti, Škoromati, Cerkljanski Laufarji... Learn about the traditional characters and carnival customs that for centuries have been passed down from generation to generation disclosing human nature. They are entered in the Register of Intangible Heritage of Slovenia, some of them have been declared masterpieces of its genre of national importance.
Shrovetide in Cerknica
If you visit Cerknica on Carnival Sunday, there will be much to see for you. A special feature of the carnival are huge figures accompanying the carnival masks on the parade through the streets of Cerknica. Meet the witch Ursula, the mother of all witches who have their "nest" at the top of Slivnica hill, the water man Jezerko, the giant pike, Butalci and other characters who will surely leave an impression on you.
Dragon's Carnival in Ljubljana
It's been a long time since the Ljubljana dragon was last seen. Or has it? At carnival time, the dragon actually sneaks into Ljubljana’s old city centre and brings carnival masks from all across Slovenia including ethnological carnival characters, masks portraying children and other carnival groups.
Carnival of Istria
Join the carnival procession on the Slovenian coast. At the Carnival of Istria, both traditional carnival characters and various modern carnival masks parade through the streets of Koper. Particularly interesting are group masks which reflect current events in society and for some which imagination knows no bounds.
Prešerni (the Cheerful) Carnival
On carnival Saturday, the streets of Kranj old town centre are flooded with colourful masks, the smell of doughnuts and a festive atmosphere. Take a look at the carnival procession and dance in a masked ball to the disco rhythms, while kids will also have their carnival fun activities.
One can never get enough of carnival follies
Therefore, take a look at some other carnivals and carnival parades that are held in Slovenian towns and villages. Make it a carnival to your taste.
Following the steps of culture and tradition
Get to know the most typical carnival customs and dishes that should not be missed at carnival time. Explore the treasures of natural and cultural heritage and discover the Slovenian soul at various festivals.