The Slovenia Times

Carnival Festivities Begin as Winter Is In Full Swing


The biggest carnival will be held in the medieval town of Ptuj, where 120,000 people are expected in the coming fortnight. As is tradition, the Ptuj mayor will hand over today to the carnival prince until Shrove Tuesday.

The Ptuj carnival will feature shrovetide groups from six countries, but the native kurenti, eerie characters wearing sheep skins and cow bells around their waists, will take centre stage.

Although the kurenti are the best known Slovenian shrovetide character, there are hundreds of other across the country. In some parts of the country, masked children still go door to door on Shrove Tuesday, wishing villagers a prosperous year and rich harvest. However this tradition is slowly dying out.

The biggest event of the Ptuj carnival will be a parade on 15 February expected to attract some 3,500 participants from Slovenia and beyond. Some of the most popular parades are however held also in the towns of Cerkno and Cerknica.

The numerous festivities held in virtually every town across the country will culminate with parades on the weekend of 14 and 15 February and Shrove Tuesday, the last day before the start of Lent, when the "pust", as carnival is called in Slovenian, will be buried or burnt at the stake, depending on local tradition.

Just like in many other countries, carnival in Slovenia is a time of feasting, as it is followed by the 40-day Lent in Christian tradition.

In Slovenia, krofi, fried dumplings made of rich sweet yeast dough filled with jam, are eaten during shrovetide; the pastry is similar to Krapfen and Berliner Pfannkuchen in Austria and Germany.

Those, who will head east to the Ptuj carnival in the coming two weeks, can sample what are considered to be Slovenia's best and biggest krofi at a restaurant in the village of Trojane, just off the Ljubljana-Maribor motorway.


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