Kurentovanje  Carnival
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Mile Kitič
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Kurents Carnival in Ptuj
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Guide to Slovenia Carnaval by slonews.sta.si

Winter Gets Banished in Carnivals around by Slovenia by ukom.gov.si

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Slovenian masks


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3:38 Added:  March 03, 2007
From:  stefancarrington
The black and red devils from the Pust Carneval parade, Kurentovanje 2007 in Ptuj, Slovenia.

Marauding Parade Characters
4:29 Added:  March 03, 2007
From:  stefancarrington

Other Slovenian Carnivals

Cerknica Carnival know for a great parade featuring  traditional animals with groups of dormice, frogs, boars, devils and witches. Popular signature figures are Uršula, the giant witch ancestress and Jezerko the lake monster and Butalci,  half-wit inhabitants of the village of Butale [ a fictional village from a book by humorist Fran Milicinski Jezek] giant pike, devil and his dormice and local hillbillies.

 Cerkno Carnival calls itself the Laufarija (from laufati - to run, laufen in German). The central carnival figure, the pust, personifies winter and is guilty for all the bad deeds in the town during the last year, so it is executed exactly as the bloody tradition has been passed down.Cerko, located in western Slovenia, will have "laufarji", appearing in more than 25 different costume types some costumes are made of 10,000 plus ivy leaves and fir boughs and the pust can wear between 60 to 80 kilograms of moss while bearing little horns on his head and holding a young fir tree in his hands.  Laufarji is the next  most famous and original Shrovetide groups in Slovenia after the Korent. They start gathering right after New Year every Sunday after mass. At first, only two of them go out, and then, every Sunday, more of them join the gathering, (until Pust, Shrove Tesday, when everyone goes out.

Cividale Carnival you are likely to find the devil is led on a chain by the Archangel Michael, reminiscent of the one-time mystery plays.

Bila Carnival last to Ash Wednesday when the Carnival mascot is burnt. The pinnacles of the celebrations take place on Saturday evening and at the Sunday noon dance in the square called ta-na Gorici (the one on the hill). The characteristic mask is dressed in white, wearing a high head cover with flowers, colourful ribbons and bells.  Besides these beautiful masks there are also the ugly masks like the babaci, whose faces are covered in black and who visit homesteads at night, scaring children. These masks represent the spirit of the dead,  who are presented with gifts in the shape of food, thus ensuring fertility and a good harvest for themselves.

Dreznica carnival Characteristic masks with demonic animal wooden faces hide mischief makers spreading ashes and catching naughty people. They are often accompanied by an entire matrimonial procession. Making the masks among the most distinctive in the Slovenian Carnival tradition are that they are carved from linden wood. The carnival parade also contains  “the beautiful,” who wear nice hats from which flutter brightly colored ribbons. The leader of the beautiful wears a cylinder and carries a stick in his hand. Beside him stroll the accordionists who play the Dreznica carnival polka. On Monday, carnival participants make a straw man with a face of “the ugly.” At midnight on Fat Tuesday the villagers take the straw man to his funeral.

Mile Kitič - sampanjac ( kurentovanje 2007)

3:19 Added:  February 16, 2007
From:  meskoo

Carnival Foods
Donuts are considered a Carnival delicacy in Slovenia

[ more at eat-online.net]

Slovenian cuisine is strongly influenced by that of its neighbors.

From Austria comes zavitek (strudel) and Dunajski zrezek (Wiener schnitzel).

Italy has contributed njoki (potato dumplings) rizota (risotto) and žlikrofi (a type of ravioli) and Hungary, goulash.

Burek, originating in the Balkans, is a layered cheese, meat or even apple pie served as a take-away snack. Ljubljana veal cutlet (breaded slices of veal stuffed with cheese and ham), however, is particular to Slovenia.

Typical desserts are potica (nut roll) and gibanica (apple and poppy-cheese pie)  Žganje is a popular strong brandy.

Kurents Carnival in Ptuj

Added:  March 03, 2007
From:  stefancarrington

Video from the Kurentovanje in Ptuj 2007. Kurents dancing and stealing girls from the audience

the Pust
The personification of Carnival, the Pust, is not only the leader of the masquerading group but also takes on responsibility for people's behaviour. They, in turn, assign to him the role of a scapegoat for all that went wrong in the community during the past year. He is responsible for this and that and must be punished for it. The Slovenian Carnival consequently appoints a straw deputy on Ash Wednesday. It is him that is put on trial, him that has to be finished off, led upon the bier, carried out of the village and buried, burned or drowned. A more "modernized" execution takes place for example in Tolmin, there the Pust is shot dead.

Evil has left the village, a new life can begin. This old fashioned way of thinking has long vanished from the consciousness of those who bury the Carnival's Pust in Slovenia. Nowadays the burial of the Pust is an amusement, in some places even the only way of celebrating Carnival. It is interesting to see that in more recent years the working class in industrial areas have picked up the tradition again.

1:01 Added:  February 27, 2007
From:  boabywoods
very silly clip filmed while returning from carnival in ptuj, slovenia as part of a 3000 mile road trip in a motorhome from scotland to ptuj and back. with this clip the carnival lives on!

Carnival in Slovenia 50,000 years ago?

Pierced multiple times, this cave bear bone found associated with  Neanderthal remains in Divje Baba, Slovenia, ihas been described  by its discoverers to be a 50,000 year old Neanderthal "flute"

[more at carantha.net]


King Midas encourages Pan  playing his flute competing up against Apollo playing his lyre in this famous Carnaval tale

Situla Vace
(pronounced: vatche),

6th century B.C @ National Museum in Ljubljana

Situlas are decorated bronze vessel used for solemn libations and feasting during festive celebrations. The main focal points and sites of Venetic artifacts in particular situla productions are to be found in Villanova (Bologna) and Este in northern Italy, in Sanzeno and Melaun, in Tyrol, and in Vace in Slovenia. The Veneti dominated central Europe during the  Early Iron Age period. Around 400 BC, the Celts, proceeding from  Switzerland and France colonized a great part of the Venetic territory and Situlas stopped being produce.
After nearly a millennium of distinctive cultural in northeastern Italy the Veneti people aligned themselves with the Romans in the 1st century BC and were assimilated.
Their animal symbols such as  the imperial eagle, the deer as badge of the Swabian arms, the bull of Mecklenburg,  the griffin of Pomerania, the panther of Carantania, the ram of Graubünden  have survived as popular emblem symbols.

frieze of the situla of Vace shows hammered reliefs depicting cult feasts, competitions

Ptuj is the center of the

 Mithras surrounded by signs of the Zodiac was the official pagan religion of Rome and referenced the Age of Taurus as well as the coming Age of Aquarius in its rituals. more



Kurenti are only the most famous of the multitude of traditional masks and carnival figures that have survived until today. Ethnologists estimate that about 170 distinct costumes have been preserved - a lot for a country the size of Slovenia but understandable since each province has maintained their own proper carnival customs and traditions and almost every Slovenian city and town hostd Shrovetide festivities.

 One of the oldest traditional characters in Slovenia are Škoromati .  Similar to the more famous Kurenti, they chase away winter and bring the prospect of an abundant harvest. The main figures among them are those with huge tongs, with which they catch young girls. This the "Kliščar" will also pick up the girls with his huge tongs and smears them with soot.

Add to this typical masquerade impulses such as reversal phenomenon where  women and men dress up as each other putting clothes on backwards and there's no excuse for you not to masquerade in your village at Carnaval time.

"The Slovenian deer hind "kosuta" is by far the most attractive shape from them all. Near or far, in Slovenian or in neighbouring territories, it has no equal. Since it is limited to the south eastern part of the one-time Roman province of Noricum, the present-day southern Styria, it could be a direct descendant of the aboriginal "cervula", which belonged to the cult of the Celtic deity Cernunnos. From the 16th century onward however, it seems that in some places of eastern Styria the hind mask was replaced with the camel one. This influence can be traced back to rebel deserters, who came from the then still Turkish territory of the Balkan"

Slovenian masks by Dr. Jožko Šavli

Branko Žnidarčič - mask maker
"When Branko Žnidarčič was a boy his parents told him that the carnival preparations used to be for men only. If one was to participate in these doings he had to go through an initiation called ˝možjeta˝. Those who went through this initiation became a part of a society, which was closed to women, and whose main concern was the carnival preparations. But alas came the 20th century and many young men began seeking employment in the city and as a result of this, women were admitted into this society, too. And little Branko Žnidarčič was there to witness all this. He always loved to observe the mask makers at their work, and at the age of twelve he made his first mask. When he was older he took another shot at mask making. In 1987 he and his friends went to the carnival in Portorož where the crowd warmly accepted their interesting self-made masks. This was a big boost in his career."

Alja Kotar (Institute of the Humanities, Ljubljana Graduate School of the Humanities, Slovenia) from abstracts from presented papers from Journeys of Expression IV: Tourism, Carnival and Folklore. This conference was hosted March 17-20, 2005 by the Center for Tourism and Cultural Change and the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences.

The Museum of Mediterranean masks
The Museum of Mediterranean masks evolved with the intention
 creating a cultural link between the cultural universe of the small town of Mamoiada, which is known throughout the world for its traditional masks, the "Mamuthones" and "Issohadores", and other Mediterranean areas, which display a similar history and culture through their masks and Carnival Celebration.
Slovenian mask, the "Kurent" on the left and Croatian Zvoncari on the right
Piazza Europa, 15
08024 Mamoiada (Nuoro)
Sardinia Italy
Ph. +39 0784 569018
Fax +39 0784 56719
Travel Tales

"In a mask you can do forbidden things - confession comes later."

"The devils and evil spirits of the next day were perhaps more psychosomatic and drawn from the excesses of the night before than derived from a Celtic past. But exorcism was at hand. The bells of St George's church pealed as a phalanx of koranti, some 250 of them, jogged past, shoulder-to-shoulder through the drifts of snow, in a bottom-rolling gait that clattered their cow bells against each in a solid roar of sound. Ahead, trios of forman - carters - stopped at the street intersections and cracked six-metre whips to drive away the devil. A red cat-suited devil - tajfl - ran along the gathering crowd as master of ceremonies, a net to gather souls in slung over his shoulder, a trident in his hand.

"From the surrounding villages, groups of traditional 'masks' enacted out their symbolic heritage. One hamlet provided a line of women bearing fresh-baked 'plait loaves' studded with flowers. Four flat-land villages had teams of ploughmen, oraci, in top boots and aprons, 'tilling the soil' to bring fertility to the snow covered land. And a rusa, a lewdly mischievous pantomine horse galloped the streets to bring virility to the farmers' stallions, bulls, rams and boars.

"From Haloze and Cirkovce the 'log-haulers' pulled a fresh cut tree, the male spirit, and stopped to saw of rings of trunk to present to girls on the pavement as a sigh that they should get married as soon as possible. The unmarried women watching were prepared; all carried hand-embroidered handkerchiefs to give to their favourite koranti, who collected them in great flowing 'cuffs' tied to their wrists."

[more at travelintelligence.net]