The Traditional Shrovetide Carnival Kurentovanje Opens in Ptuj

On Saturday, 23 February 2019, the traditional 59th International Shrovetide Carnival – Kurentovanje – opens in Ptuj. The event is timed to the 1950th (!) anniversary of the first written mentioning about the city.

The famous festival, which has been held annually since 1960 in the oldest city of Slovenia, will last 11 days – until the Shrovetide Tuesday, 5 March 2019. The Kurentovanje programme will consist of three parts – Etnofest, Karnevalfest and Artfest. This year, the festival will be held for the first time under the auspices of UNESCO.

The event will start at 11:00 a.m. in the streets and squares of Ptuj. For the first time, a group of costumed actors from Turkey will take part in the procession opening the festival. The organisers expect that the total number of event guests will exceed 100 thousand people. According to them, within the framework of the event, it is planned to hold in total about one hundred accompanying events in the city and its surroundings, such as concerts, exhibitions, workshops, charity events, etc.

About 6,000 costumed actors (kurents) and 54 ethnographic groups representing 11 countries of the world – Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Italy, Turkey, Czech Republic, Austria, Serbia, Slovakia and Montenegro – will take part in the festival.

The highlight of the annual festival is the colourful processions of kurents who chase away the winter and the evil. Festival guests will be able to watch 5 processions of costumed actors. The most large-scale (international) carnival procession of kurents through the streets and squares of the city will take place on Sunday, 3 March 2019, at 1:00 p.m. (starting in Potrčeva cesta). It is worth noting that from 24 February to 4 March 2019, the historic centre of the city will host presentations of traditional Shrovetide images performed by local actors. The Shrovetide farewell ceremony will be held in the streets, squares and institutions of Ptuj on Tuesday, 5 March 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The city will spend around 200 thousand euros for the carnival celebration. This year, 46 thousand euros has been allocated by the municipality. The remaining funds will be received from rental income, marketing campaigns and sponsorship.