Festivals and Carnivals: Reasons to visit Slovenia in 2023
There are many reasons why Slovenia should be on your travel wish list this year but a packed programme of festivals, traditions and live music is reason enough to visit this beautiful country.
These colourful events will allow visitors to experience the vibrant cultural scene as well as getting a flavour of charming Slovenian customs – these are especially important when it comes to Shrovetide celebrations.
Shrovetide in Slovenia represents the bridge between winter and spring and the timings of the annual celebrations depend on the date of Easter. These fun events are usually seen as a last chance for indulgence and merriment before the solemn Lenten period.
Kicking off the season is Kurentovanje which takes place in Ptuj. Often described as the Slovenian version of the Mardi Gras, Kurentovanje has been hailed as one of the best carnivals in the world alongside those in Venice, Rio and New Orleans! This spring festival is celebrated in the lead up to Ash Wednesday. The fun is already underway but runs through until Shrove Tuesday on February 21. Among the colourful masks you will find the outstanding Ptuj originals – the Kurenti. They are accompanied by other traditional characters such as orači (ploughmen), pokači (whip-crackers), kopjaši (spearsmen), ploharji (log-haulers), and other carnival masks.The programme includes exciting events such as The Opening of Kurent’s House, The Intercontinental Meeting of Traditional Carnival Characters and Masks, City Carnival Parade, Shrove Tuesday and The Carnival Farewell.
Another town where visitors can join in the celebrations is Cerknica which has one of the most fun parades and features giant-sized masks of Ursula the Witch, Jezerko the Lake Man, a giant pike fish, a dragon and more.
And don’t miss the Shrovetide celebrations in and around Ljubljana, especially the Ljubljana Dragon Carnival. This family friendly event is suitable for all ages and brings magic to the streets of the capital city. A true spectacle.
A delightful new festival has also been introduced for 2023. LUV Fest will run from February 8 until March 12 (St Gregory’s Day and the Slovenian version of Valentine’s Day), transforming Ljubljana into one of the most romantic destinations at this time of year – as if it wasn’t dreamy enough! The festival is a celebration of the simple pleasures of love, art and wandering – featuring guided tours, workshops, concerts, exhibitions and performances. Visitors can admire light installations around the city, take pictures of all the pretty spots and enjoy good food.
Special events and hospitality packages have been devised for locals and visitors alike to embrace and enjoy LUV Fest.
As the year progresses, visitors can expect an impressive array of cultural events. The busy schedule has something for everyone and will really hit the spot with music lovers, history buffs, foodies and theatre fans. The top line-up of music events covers a wide range of genres from jazz to classical and heavy metal! For the full calendar of summer festivals click here
Among the 2023 cultural highlights are:
Ljubljana Festival (Winter) runs into March
International Festival of Chilli and Chocolate, Maribor
Young Virtuosi International Music Cycle
Issued on behalf of The Slovenian Tourist Board. For more information visit: https://www.slovenia.info/en
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