Beltinci International Folklore Festival celebrates 50th birthday

Beltinci – The International Folklore Festival in Beltinci in the north-east of Slovenia has celebrated its 50th birthday in the past few days. The event featured various folk dance groups, including, for the very first time, dancers from Portugal and Greece.

This afternoon, the festival wrapped up with a procession of all participating groups and a special event dedicated to Slovenian folk dance.

The festival started on Thursday evening when Culture Minister Asta Vrečko addressed the opening event. She underlined the importance of traditional hospitality of the local community that is keeping the oldest such festival in Slovenia alive.

Photographer Janez Eržen, who has been capturing the festival’s events for 25 years, has put on an exhibition showcasing more than 80 photos in Beltinci Castle. Another smaller exhibit of his photos is on display along the main road in the town.

The 50th festival was held in cooperation with its Croatian counterpart in Zagreb, said Valerija Žalig, the Beltinci festival’s programme coordinator.

On Saturday, the festival was visited by Mateya Slobodnik, head of the Slovenian-Australian Chamber of Commerce. “In the post-Covid era, it is nice to see how much culture is present in Slovenia, and this festival proves that folklore and customs will not fade into oblivion,” she said.

The festival also featured a fair and demonstrations of folk crafts and cuisine.