The Kurent Carnival, or Kurentovanje, is an iconic traditional event in Slovenia. Located in Ptuj, a short drive from Maribor, this vibrant festivity is an unforgettable experience.

Held typically in February, the dates fluctuate each year based on the Christian liturgical calendar. The carnival spans several days, with the main parade usually slated for the Sunday preceding Ash Wednesday.

The primary attraction of the event are the Kurents. Donning sheepskin garments and distinctive masks, these figures chase away winter and herald good fortune for the upcoming year.

  • Participation: While traditionally local men embody the role of the Kurents, the carnival is a public event inviting everyone to partake in the celebrations. Although dressing as a Kurent requires belonging to a traditional group, spectators can enjoy the street festivities and immerse themselves in the local culture. Events such as traditional dances and music performances often encourage audience interaction.
  • Spectating: To watch the event, arrive in Ptuj early on the day of the main parade, as it draws significant crowds. The parade showcases not just the Kurents, but other Slovenian carnival characters, brass bands, and international participants.

Beyond the main parade, enjoy a variety of events including concerts, traditional dances, craft markets, and culinary events featuring local Ptuj and Slovenian delicacies.

Consult the official Kurentovanje website or contact the Ptuj Tourist Information Centre for the specific dates and event schedules for the year you plan to attend.

Can’t make it in person? The Slovenian national television usually broadcasts the main parade, and clips or live streams are often accessible on the internet.