Have you ever wanted to be a spiderman or a catwoman? Or some other character from your favourite movie, or a cartoon? During the »Pust« season in cold winter months, you can become anything and anyone you want. The carnival season was in its peak this past weekend, and still going. Today, kids around Slovenia are attending classes dressed as their heroes. Many towns across the region provided the entertainment programme for carnival goers. And they all have the same goal: to chase away the »cold« winter.
These days carnivals in the region are thriving. Below are a few that stand out.
Rijeka takes the lead
Take Rijeka carnival, the most famous carnival in Croatia in the heart of Kvarner region. This year it began on January 17 and will last until March 6. There are plenty of reasons to visit at least one event in the carnival’s rich program.
This year, 14 groups from abroad participated in the carnival parade – from Italy (Este, Mirandola, Verona), Slovenia (Ptuj), Montenegro (Budva, Herceg Novi, Tivat), Serbia (Vrnjačka Banja), Hungary (Debrecen, Koljnof ), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Neum) and Macedonia (Strumica) and 12 other groups from all parts of Croatia.
The city itself was basking in colorful decorations. The organisers are right when they say it is difficult to describe the carnival in words or fully capture it in photos or television broadcasts. It must be lived and experienced!
Chase the winter away in Ptuj
Every year, Ptuj, Slovenia’s odlest town, hosts the traditional Kurent Festival in early March. The mysterious Kurent is a traditional Slovenian Carnival character and one of the sympols of Slovenian identity. It is a masked figure covered in skeepskin with large horns, cow bells and long whip.
The local witch in Cerknica
Other large and famous carnivals in Slovenia take place in Cerknica where the main figure of the carnival is Uršula the witch who is presumed to live on the nerarby Slivnica hill but once a year she visits Cerknica to greet all the visitors.