There are several Slovenian festivals and events which take place every year. Cultural, musical and sport events are top a list.
Cultural and musical Slovenian festivals and events
Rock Otočec is a musical 3 day festival which take place every year in July near the city of Novo mesto, in the Dolenjska region. It was first held in 1976. There are different stages, where Slovenian and foreign music groups perform. It’s also famous for mud which people throw themselves into. The festival presents freedom, youth, and joy; similar to hippy movement. The visitors are mostly young people, who like rock music, lot of drinks and nudity. This year it took place in Ljubljana, to take advantage of a larger venue.
Kurentovanje na Ptuju
The biggest cultural-ethnographic event is Kurentovanje na Ptuju (Kurents Carnival in Ptuj). It’s a winter carnival, which takes its place in February, where all kinds of carnival masks are presented. The most famous and authentic is Kurent (called also Korent), who is supposed to persecute the winter and bring on spring. Around 100,000 visitors attend the event each year.
Pivo in cvetje
Pivo in cvetje (literally ‘Beer and Flowers’) is an ethnographic musical touristic festival, which takes place every year in the little town of Laško, since 1963. Laško is famous also for its brewery, with the eponyomus beer trade mark. You can enjoy many events, such as musical performances from Slovenia and abroad, parades, sport games, floral expositions, and of course beer. It ends traditionally with a firework display.
Ljubljana Festival is a cultural artistic festival. Each summer there are a lot of musical, artistic, cultural open-air events in Kongresni trg and in Križanke. It’s definitely an eyeful for those who just promenade through the centre of Ljubljana and especially on warm summer nights it conjures a stunning atmosphere. I really like this time of the year in Ljubljana. The performances take place during the week, during the whole summer.
Another cultural musical folk festival in the second biggest Slovenian city Maribor, is called Festival Lent . It takes place at the end of June till the beginning of July. There are around 500.000 visitors each year. It is the largest outdoor festival in Slovenia, with a different performances, such as jazz, operas, ballets, folklore and many sport events. Performing artists come from all over the world.
As Slovenians are very keen on sport, so it’s no wonder there are so many sporting events, in which people can participate. Major and international events are Zlata lisica (‘Golden fox’), World Cup in rowing (it took place in 2011 in Bled) and the Ski jumping world cup.
Zlata lisica is an international skiing competition (slalom) for the World Cup for women. It takes place in Mariborsko Pohorje, near to Maribor, in January or February. A winner gets a trophy ‘Golden fox’. This year our skier Tina Maze won the slalom competition.
Ski jumping world cup
The Ski jumping world cup takes place every year in Planica in March. It’s a very popular sporting event in Slovenia.
This year Slovenia also hosts the European basketball championship (Evropsko prvenstvo v košarki) in September.
Slovenians take massive part in marathons, like in Ljubljanski maraton (Ljubljana marathon), which is a running marathon, and Maraton Franja, which is a cycling marathon. Latter takes place in the beginning of June, and Ljubljana marathon in October. It’s a great experience, I participated in Ljubljana marathon on a high school level the first time, and it was really fun.
Another event it seems good to mention, is Maturantska parada (Quadrille Dance). In many Slovenian and European cities, the graduates dance četvorka, ‘quadrille’, exactly at midday on the streets. It takes place every May. It’s all about having fun, music, dance and a relaxing atmosphere. After the dances, a Quadrille Dance continues with a party with electonic music stage in Gospodarsko razstavišče. The graduate girls have orange T-shirts and boys black ones. They get also umbrellas and whistles. They whistle loudly, so if you’ll be around at that time, protect your ears!
Well, I have presented quite a lot of Slovenian festivals and events. Our small country has a lot of interesting ones, something for everyone. There are a big number of culinary and wine festivals too, which I’ll concentrate on in future posts.