Carnival is celebrated to different degrees in parts of Slovenia – from the huge 11-day festival in Ptuj to the single-day celebration in Ljubljana. Slovenia's Carnival is marked by a wide variety of local traditions and the wearing of region-specific masks. Carnival is an exciting, culturally rich period in Slovenia and will make any visitor's visit to this country unforgettable.
Carnival in Ptuj
The largest Carnival in Slovenia takes place in Ptuj
. Called Kurentovanje, it is named for the furry costumes that are donned as a part of the festival. The Kurenti, who are large and hairy with long red tongues, make noise by ringing bells as a part of the Shrovetide celebration of fertility and spring. Hundreds of Kurenti take part in Kurentovanje in Ptuj.
Kurentovanje begins officially on February 2nd and lasts until Shrove Sunday, but the Ptuj Carnival adjusts according to when Shrove Sunday falls, and opening parades may be held after the traditional start of Kurentovanje. Thousands of people descend upon Ptuj to participate in the festivities and to watch the parades that are organized for this event.
Carnival in Cerkno
Cerkno's Carnival, called Laufarija, also employs a traditional costume ( the Laufar). The carved wooden masks with large, uneven teeth are even more frightening than the beastly Kurenti. The main Laufar character, Pust, finds himself sentenced to death, being at fault for all the world's ills.
Carnival in Cerknica
Cerknica's Carnival showcases special traditions, too. For the the time between Shrove Thursday and Ash Wednesday, Cerknica is known as Butale (a village of fools). The lake in Cerknica is home to a witch, who must be drawn out during the festival and paraded through the town.
Carnival in Ljubljana
Carnival in Ljubljana is a more contained event and takes place annually on Shrove Saturday. The day is marked by a parade and a program of events that last most of the day.