The Slovenia Times

South-East Slovenia Home to Country's Oldest Folklore Festival

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This year's 52nd festival will bring groups from Spain, Serbia, Russia and Croatia, while in the past visitors had a chance to see traditional dances of Mexico, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Poland and many others.

The three-day festival, officially staring tomorrow evening is named after Green George, the mythical herald of spring, happiness, abundance and new beginning from the south-eastern region of Bela krajina, where ─îrnomelj is located.

The festival is a celebration of the summer solstice and traditionally a big bonfire is lit at the main venue.

Green George, a boy covered in green birch tree leaves, attends many of the festival's events, where visitors can taste some of the regional culinary treats and wine. The accompanying programme, which started already on Tuesday, includes various workshops, exhibitions and sports competitions, including for children.

Tomorrow's opening ceremony will be attended by Culture Minister Julijana Bizjak Mlakar.

While in the past, the festival was traditionally taking place in the "natural amphitheatre" in the northern part of the town, this year it is moving to the old town centre.

Jurjevanje, Slovenia's biggest folklore festival, is a member of the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts (CIOFF), an Official Partner of UNESCO.

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