August 5, 2020

Tripedia

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10 Unique Festivals in Slovenia

1. KURENTOVANJE

 

Time: Shrovetide, usually in February or March

Duration: 16 days

Place: Ptuj

 
Kurentovanje
 

Kurentovanje is the most famous and most popular Slovenian festival. It is an ethnographic festival, dedicated to the end of the winter and to the celebration of Shrovetide (in Slovenian called “Pust”).

 

Kurentovanje usually starts on Saturday and lasts for 16 days until Shrove Tuesday. The main event is the carnival masquerade parade with numerous traditional masks from the around the world, including a traditional Slovenian mask called Kurent. A number of other events take place as part of this festival, from musical performances to cultural exhibitions.

 

2. OLD VINE FESTIVAL AND MARTINOVANJE

 

Time: October and November

Duration: from the beginning of October to St. Martin`s Day (November 11th)

Place: Maribor

 
Old Vine Festival in Slovenia
 

One of the most interesting and fun festivals in Slovenia is dedicated to a very important beverage – wine! Slovenia is an important wine-growing country and numerous celebrations dedicated to wine happen yearly, especially on the day of St. Martin – the saint that transforms “must into wine”.

 

Although celebrations of the day of St. Martin (also called Martinovanje) happen in most Slovenian cities, no festival compares to the one in Maribor. Old Vine Festival starts a whole month before the St. Martin’s day, with the solemn harvesting of the oldest vine in the world!

 

Numerous musical, cultural and culinary events take place during the next month, including different wine tours and workshops for the whole family. Old Vine Festival ends with the big celebration on St. Martin’s Day when numerous winegrowers from the whole region gather to sell their best wines.

 

3. JURJEVANJE

 

Time: End of June

Duration: 6 Days

Place: Črnomelj

 
Jurjevanjec Slovenia
 

Jurjevanje is the oldest folklore festival in Slovenia. The festival offers a great insight into the culture and ethnographical traditions of the country, including traditional national wears, dances and musical instruments.

 

The festival got its name after an old Slovenian custom, which was dedicated to the beginning of spring. Every year, village youngsters choose a boy among them and dress him in leaves and small branches. He was to be named “Zeleni Jurij” (Green George), and his task was to chase away the evil spirits and winter.

 

The main events of Jurjevanje happen over the weekend. They include dance appearances of folklore groups from around the world and numerous other sports events and interesting workshops.

 

4. CHERRY FESTIVAL 

 

Time: June

Duration: Two weekends

Place: Goriška Brda

 

Cherry Festival is the biggest festival in this part of Slovenia and one of the festivals you just cannot miss. This festival offers a great insight into the traditional life of Brda. It gives you the opportunity to enjoy the great food and wine from the region, and to relax in numerous entertaining events.

 

The festival officially starts on the first week of June with traditional Wine Days when numerous wine cellars open their door and wine makers offer their best wines to their visitors. A hike from a Cherry Tree to a Cherry Tree follows on Sunday when visitors are invited to take a hike among vineyards and small hills of Brda to help locals harvest their cherries.

 

The main events of the Cherry Festival happen one week later. Visitors can enjoy numerous entertaining activities such as the competition for the biggest cherry, the parade of old vehicles and the traditional Brda Wedding, which is a representation a wedding ceremony from the years 1920 to 1930.

 

5. COWS’ BALL

 

Time: September

Duration: One weekend

Place: Bohinj, Ukanc

 
Cows' Ball Slovenia
 

Cows’ Ball is not one of the most well-known festivals in Slovenia even though it is one of the oldest festivals in the country and one of the most interesting ones.

 

Cows’ Ball was once a simple celebration dedicated to the end of the summer in Bohinj, as men who spent summer months as Alpine dairy farmers returned back to the valley to reunite with their families.

 

The main event of the festival is the parade which showcases traditional farmer’s clothes and gear. A traditional market takes place as part of the parade and farmers love to show and sell their homemade products, like cheese and milk.

 

6. SINKING OF THE BELL

 

Time: Christmas Day

Duration: One day

Place: Bled, Lake Bled

 
Sinking of the Bell
 

The sinking of the Bell is a traditional event that happens every year on the 25th of December, in dedication to the memory of the Legend of the Sunken Bell. When Christmas day turns into night, a huge bell, made of Christmas lights, starts to sink into the water of Lake Bled.

 

Big crowds of people gather around the lake, with hot wine or tea in hand, and listen to the Christmas carols and stories about Bled. The only source of light comes from the slowly sinking bell in the middle of the lake. Quite a romantic scene!

 

7. ERAZEM’S MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL

 

Time: July

Duration: One weekend

Place: Predjama Castle, Postojna

 

This is definitely the kids’ favorite Slovenian festival! Every year in July beautiful princesses, scowling jailers and proud princes occupy the magnificent Predjama Castle and awake the legend of Prince Erazem that once proudly ruled this castle.

 

This festival is full of interesting activities for kids of all ages, from antique writing workshops to archery competitions. Adults will enjoy as well, especially in the Saturday’s “Night of Fire and Fun”, which can last until the early hours of the next day. Camping under the castle is also possible during the festival.

 

8. GREGORJEVO

 

Time: March, on St. Gregory’s Day

Duration: One day

Place: Ljubljana

 
Gregorjevo
 

Gregorjevo is the lovers’ day or the Slovenian Valentine’s Day. Gregorjevo is celebrated at the beginning of March, on a day which was once the first day of spring (on the old calendar).

 
Old women often say that Gregorjevo is the day when “birds get married”. It is believed that this saying originated from an old prophecy that they believed in when they were young. On Gregorjevo, they looked at the sky and waited for the first bird to fly past them. They believed that the bird they saw revealed the character of their future husband.
 

Gregorjevo was celebrated in one Slovenian region, Gorenjska, where people celebrated the coming of the spring by building small boats from wood and other materials. They put small candles on those boats and put them into the river. This tradition has now spread into Ljubljana, where large numbers of people gather with their own little boats and let candles flow down Ljubljanica River. This is definitely a must for all the romantic souls!

 

9. SNOW CASTLE FESTIVAL

 

Time: January or February

Duration: One weekend

Place: Plateau Mitnek, Črna na Koroškem

 
Snow Castle Festival
 

Snow Castle Festival or the Castles of King Matjaž is one of the least known festivals in Slovenia but by far one of the loveliest! Every year, somewhere in January of February, the plateau Mitnek is transformed into a snow wonderland.

 

Teams from different parts of Slovenia and other countries gather here to compete in making the most interesting, beautiful and fun snow structures. The structures are more or less connected to the legendary King Matjaž, who is supposedly sleeping in a secret cave in one of the mountains in this part of Slovenia.

 

While teams are building their castles during the day, most of the visitors visit the festival when day turns into the night. Castles and other structures are decorated with small lights to create playful lightening and dreadful shades. Then, the builder of the best structure is chosen.

 

10. ZOMBIE WALK 

 

Time: July

Duration: One weekend

Place: Ljutomer

 
Zombie Walk
 

Zombies are proud members of a parade that takes place at the end of traditional Film and Wine Festival Grossman, which happens every year in July. This is a small festival, which focuses on horror movies.

 

Numerous events are part of this movie festival, from acting workshops, to book presentations and wine tastings. Zombie Walk is the final event of the festival when horror officials leave the lovely town of Ljutomer and promise to return only when the next festival begins.

 
Other Tourist Attractions in Slovenia