Kurentovanje in Ptuj

The Kurent wears a sheepskin coat and a chain belt with cowbells attached around his waist.

February 2008

At the beginning of February, the Kurenti, who jump, wear sheepskin coats, hold wooden clubs with a hedgehog skin attached at one end called “ježevke”, and wear cowbells tied around their waist, began making a noise. In this way, Kurenti announce that winter is saying goodbye and that spring is coming.

On the territory of Slovenia, the most Shrovetide characters and masks have been preserved on the Drava plain, in Haloze and Slovenske gorice. For 50 years, they have been an invincible foundation of all Shrovetide carnivals, such as Kurentovanje in Ptuj.

Kurentovanje is the biggest Shrovetide carnival of public interest in Slovenia. This year, Kurentovanje in Ptuj is taking place for the 48th time. The purpose of such events is to preserve and develop a unique cultural heritage and ethnographic tradition. Kurentovanje adds a touch of mysticism, and is one of the most important traditional events in Slovenia and middle Europe.

Its roots are in the centuries-old tradition of Shrovetide celebration in the areas of the Dravsko polje and Ptujsko polje. The Kurent originates from popular tradition. In times past, wearing the Kurent outfit was the privilege of unmarried young men. Nowadays married men, children and women can wear the outfit as well. The Kurent wears a sheepskin coat and a chain belt with cowbells attached around his waist. He wears gaiters and heavy boots as well, and his head is covered with a mask. In his left hand, he holds a club called ‘ježevka’.

There are many different Shrovetide customs and more than one hundred different types of mask in Slovenia, but the most attractive and the most famous can be seen at the Kurentovanje in Ptuj.  The Kurent is known not only in Slovenia, but also around the world. Have you seen it somewhere?