Chase Away the Winter in Slovenia
By this point in the year most of us are ready to wave good bye to winter, and say hello to the new beginnings and warmer weather brought by Spring. However, the people of Slovenia have taken this a step further, and have launched a festival literally chasing winter away.
Over 100,000 people are expected to visit Ptuj in Slovenia to partake in the carnival this year, which is an annual tradition known locally as ‘Kurentovanje’. The event lasts 11 days, with the main parade taking place on the last day of the celebrations in Mid-February (usually Shrove Tuesday).
The celebrations involve locals donning traditional masks and scary costumes to send winter away, so that Spring can arrive. The main figure is called Korent or Kurent, a creature which wears massive costumes made of sheep skin and finished with bells around the waist. The ‘scary beast’ has a large red tongue, a towering head piece and a wooden club, which is used to collect handkerchiefs donated by local women during the events.
The festival is an extremely important part of local life, and helps to maintain the cultural heritage and ethnographic tradition of the country. The modern festival was officially launched in the 1960s, as a ‘rite of passage’ for Spring and fertility.
If you’re planning to visit the Slovenian festival to help chase away winter, just remember to invest in quality travel insurance before you depart. Without travel insurance, you leave yourself vulnerable to a holiday disaster, visit Holidaysafe.co.uk for more information.
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