The Best Festivals in Slovenia

People dressed as Kurent at International Carnival in Ptuj
People dressed as Kurent at International Carnival in Ptuj | © Ekke /WikiCommons
Andreja Posedel

Slovenia is a great destination for festival lovers. Each year cities and towns all over the country host exciting, unique, local and international festivals. Whether you like theater, cinema, folklore, contemporary art, or an eclectic mix of it all, you can find something to suit your taste. Culture Trip has prepared a list of the Best Festivals in Slovenia.

Grossmann Fantastic Film and Wine Festival

Grossmann Fantastic Film and Wine Festival, one of the most unique festivals in Slovenia, takes place in the last week of July in the town Ljutomer. This film festival focuses on horror and fantasy movies, which are unfortunately often forgotten by the mainstream media. The festival was launched in 2005 and is named after Dr. Karol Grossmann, a pioneer of Slovenian cinematography. Ljutomer and the surrounding areas are well known for quality wines, and therefore the decision to add wine to the festival came naturally. The main film program is accompanied by wine tastings, workshops, expeditions, concerts, and a traditional Zombie Walk.

Zombie Walk at Grossmann Festival

Lent Festival

For over twenty years, Lent Festival changes the city of Maribor into a large outdoor venue. What started as a small festival on the banks of the Drava River, is now counted among the largest open-air festivals in Europe and it attracts over half a million visitors every year. At approximately twenty-three venues located all around Maribor city center, visitors can admire theater performances, ballet, concerts, stand-up, opera, magicians, folklore, and much more. Known as a family-friendly festival, each year Lent offers a colorful program for children. Traditionally the festival closes with magnificent fireworks over the Drava River.

Maribor hosts Festival Lent │

Kurentovanje – International Carnival in Ptuj

Kurentovanje, a festival of spring and fertility, is the most popular Mardi Gras celebration in Slovenia. Since 1961, the festival has taken place every year between Candlemas and Ash Wednesday in the oldest Slovenian town, Ptuj. The festival focuses on Slovenia’s most important folklore character Kurent. The cowbells on Kurent’s belt make a loud noise, which is believed to chase away the winter and attract spring and a good harvest. Kurentovanje’s main carnival parade is accompanied by concerts, programs for children, and theater performances.

Kurentovanje – International Carnival in Ptuj

Ana Desetnica International Street Theater Festival

Each year at the beginning of summer, Ana Desetnica International Street Theatre Festival takes place on the streets of Ljubljana. Since the festival’s inception in 1998, audiences have enjoyed performances by mimes, magicians, dancers, and theater groups. The festival hosts children shows, dance performances, small and large scale productions and provocative shows suitable for adults. Throughout the years the festival has grown and recently began collaborating with other cities and towns in Slovenia. Today, Ana Desetnica Festival performances also take place in 10 Slovenian cities.

Street Theater at Ana Desetnica

Mladi Levi

Since 1998, at the end of the summer, Ljubljana hosts Mladi Levi, an international festival of contemporary theater and dance performances. The festival takes place in two principal venues, however, individual performances can be seen in the streets, courtyards, and old buildings of Ljubljana. Over 10 days, Mladi Levi Festival offers the audience an outstanding selection of Slovenian and international performances. By offering the festival events free of charge, the festival hopes to expand the circle of people visiting contemporary art performances.

Performance at Mladi Levi Festival

City of Women – International Festival of Contemporary Arts

The annual festival, City of Women, first took place in Ljubljana in 1995 with its primary aim being to draw attention to the relative lack of participation and presentation of women in the arts. In October, the 10 day festival offers performances, exhibitions, debates, and workshops by performers and scholars from Slovenia and abroad. The nature of the festival is trans-disciplinary, and every year the performances are linked with a common artistic, cultural or socio-political topic. In addition to the festival, City of Women organizes lectures, public discussions, and civic initiatives throughout the year.

Eszter Salamon: Muzej Valeske Gert at City of Women

Days of National Costumes and Clothing Heritage Festival

With over 30,00 visitors each year, Days of National Costumes and Clothing Heritage Festival, is the largest ethnological festival in Slovenia. Each September, for more than four decades, this festival has been attracting visitors to the small town of Kamnik. The festival hosts exhibitions of historical clothing and artifacts, a handmade arts and crafts fair, concerts, and programs for children. At the Sunday parade of national costumes, the peak of the festival, visitors can admire over 2000 national costumes from Slovenia and abroad as they parade through the center of Kamnik.

Kamnik

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