Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Type / Intangible Heritage

Traditional cuisine and folklore

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Traditional cuisine and folklore

About the site

Corridor: Diagonal Road
Country: Slovenia, Ptuj
Type: Intangible Heritage
Theme: Intangible Heritage
World Heritage:
Intangible HeritageIntangible Heritage

Once a year it smells particularly good in the Minorite monastery in Ptuj. The good smell comes from delicacies, brought by Slovenian housewives (as well as men). On one single place spices, culinary aesthetics and desires are joined. Because the event is also a competition, the winners receive golden awards and quality labels, and the jury has a very difficult work. They have to choose among excellent dairy, meat and bakery products, various vinegars, dried fruit, fruit juices, wines, oils, spirits, marmalades and cheeses. The exhibition is beautifully arranged and it takes place together with a rich cultural programme with folklore groups, musicians and choirs Many Mardi Gras costumes are also original to Slovenia. The Laufarji from Cerkno are dressed in moss, ivy, phloem, and other natural materials. The Kurent from Ptujsko polje is not just a Mardi Gras figure dressed in sheep and rabbit skins with a long leather nose and tongue, cow horns, cow bells, and a club covered with hedgehog skin but also a creature from Slovene mythology. Elsewhere around Slovenia the Mardi Gras heritage of past periods is alive as well. Kurenti – called koranti by local people– are supposed to chase away winter from Ptujsko Polje and woo the spring, but often just the opposite happens. They go around in groups dancing and making noise. The carnival celebrations last one week, but one can see the largest number of them on Carnival Sunday when there is a large carnival procession in ancient Ptuj, and numerous ethnographic masks from Austria, Italy and Croatia join in. A kurent is dressed in sheepskin, girded with a chain with five cowbells. He wears red socks and black boots; there is a mask on his head and a stick in his hand. At a close encounter with him, you may get a scratch on your hand, but only on accident. However, a kurent likes to embrace a girl with his strong hands and dance with her in a wild rhythm. He may ruffle the girl’s hair or just offer his hand as a greeting. He expects girls to stick their handkerchiefs behind his belt as a sign of their affection…

Slovenian Tourist Board