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Kurentovanje Carnival in Ptuj 2025

Drive away winter along with mystical Kurants and festive-goers at the Kurentovanje carnival

Dates: February 6-16, 2025

Kurentovanje Carnival in Ptuj
Kurentovanje Carnival in Ptuj
Kurentovanje Carnival in Ptuj
Kurentovanje Carnival in Ptuj
Kurentovanje Carnival in Ptuj

Kurentovanje Carnival in Ptuj is a ten-day celebration culminating on the Shrove Tuesday. The festival is based on Kurentovanje, an ancient pagan Slavic ritual supposed to drive away winter and welcome spring. This authentic Slovenian tradition yearly entices more than 10,000 curious travellers to the country's oldest recorded city, which was first mentioned in AD 69!

The central figure of Kurentovanje Carnival in Ptuj is definitely a Kurent, the Slovenian pagan god of pleasure and hedonism. The character is recognized by wearing sheepskins and holding wooden sticks with skins of hedgehogs. The carnival commences at midnight with a Kurents' Jump event—the honorable Kurents set off to the streets of Ptuj to chase winter and evil away from the city. One of them is to be crowned as the Prince of Kurentovanje and rule the city until the very end of the festivities.

The opening ethno parade features many more characters beyond iconic Kurents, namely gypsies, log-haulers, rusas, fairies, spearmen, ploughmen, whip crackers, mischievous bears, and the devils. Other pivotal events include the night street spectacle with a fire and music show, the city carnival promenade, involving countless masked townspeople, and the international carnival parade. One of the most popular gathering locales during the carnival must be Ptuj town hall square, where you can lay your eyes on traditional dances and performances. The climax of Kurentovanje falls on Shrove Tuesday and burial of the Carnival. This especially frenzied day boasts numerous parties popping up across Ptuj at noon and often lasting well into the wee hours.

All in all, Carnival in Ptuj is a one-of-a-kind occasion and a must-do at least once in your lifetime. Kurentovanje claims to be listed among the world's most amazing and unique carnivals, on par with those in Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, and Venice. Plus, UNESCO recognized the holiday as a part of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin