With dancing at the fire and loud ringing of bells at midnight, the Kurenti announced the beginning of the Shrovetide period. At Markovci, bells were replaced with whips, while at Dornava the locals mark the start of carnival time by cutting the first furrow.
The main festival programme started with an ethno-themed parade, and will conclude on Shrovetide Tuesday on 13th February. "We get to experience a rich display of cultural heritage that is transmitted from generation to generation," emphasized Aleš Goričan, this year's carnival prince, for Radio Slovenia.
Over the course of eleven festival days, more than 70 events will take place in the oldest Slovenian city, Monika Klinc explains. The events take place every day in the old city centre and in the carnival hall. Approximately 6000 carnival figures are expected at the main parade, with 100,000 visitors excepted to come to Ptuj for the carnival.
The organizers emphasize that this year's Kurentovanje will be especially ceremonious, as the door-to-door rounds of Kurenti was put on the UNESCO list of intangible heritage in December last year. According to the organisers, charity is also a special part of the festival every year. This year is no exception; there will be a series of humanitarian events, starting with the traditional stew-making competition.