The Slovenia Times

Kurent carnival costume expected to become part of UNESCO heritage


The nomination, put forward by Slovenia in 2016, has been backed with praise by an UNESCO expert body, which has proposed to the organisation's intergovernmental committee that the kurent become part of the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage.

The kurent is a traditional carnival costume originating from the area around Ptuj in north-eastern Slovenia.

The costume traditionally includes a full-body sheepskin attire with huge cowbells around the waist, a spike in the hand and a sheepskin face mask with large horns.

It is the most distinctive among some 150 traditional costumes preserved in Slovenia, with a special carnival centred around kurents held in the town of Ptuj in February since the 1960s.

The association of kurent societies presently has more than 900 members.

The roots of the costume date back to pagan times and it is considered the traditional harbinger of spring.

The traditional door-to-door rounds made by groups of kurents were declared intangible heritage of national importance in 2015.

If put on the list, the popular tradition would become Slovenia's second entry on the UNESCO list of intangible heritage.

Since December 2016 the list features the Škofja Loka Passion, Slovenia's oldest play, or more precisely the mass staging of this early 18th-century play in the Mediaeval town of Škofja Loka.

Moreover, in March this year Slovenia formally nominated bobbin lace making for the list, while it also joined a multinational nomination of dry stone building, submitted by Cyprus and also featuring Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.


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