Fourth Annual Cleveland Kurentovanje Weekend

Cleveland Kurentovanje, a Slovenian-infused carnival event, has expanded this year: “Kurent Jump” kicked off the celebration on Friday, February 5th, in which the Kurents came out for the first time to start their mission of scaring away the winter. On Saturday, February 6, the Cleveland Kurentovanje parade and festival took place with many musical and cultural performances, authentic food and drink, handmade crafts, and kids activities. Due to the favorable weather conditions more then 6000 people attended and this number is increasing year over year.

What is Cleveland Kurentovanje?
Kurentovanje is one of Slovenia’s most popular and ethnologically significant carnival events. This 10-day rite of spring and fertility is celebrated on Shrove Sunday in Ptuj, the oldest documented city in the region, and draws around 10,000 participants each year.
Its main figure, known as Kurent or Korent, was seen as an extravagant god of unrestrained pleasure and hedonism in early Slavic, Celtic and Illyrian customs. In today’s festival, groups of Kurents or Kurenti wear traditional sheepskin garments while holding wooden clubs with hedgehog skins attached called “ježevke”, the noise of which is believed to “chase away winter”. In this way, the presence of Kurenti announces the end of winter and beginning of spring. Being a kurent was at first a privilege offered only to unmarried men, but today, married men, children and women are also invited to wear the outfit.
In 2010, the 50th anniversary of the first organized instance of this festival was celebrated. As the host of the festival, the town of Ptuj was admitted into the European Federation of Carnival Cities in 1991. (Derived from Wikipedia)

Photos by: Andy Wrobel Photography (FB) and Ed Oshaben (FB)