Traditional Events

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Ptuj – the Treasure Trove of Millennia, the oldest city in Slovenia.

The "Kurentovanje" Carnival

The “Kurentovanje” is the biggest carnival event of public importance in Slovenia. The traditional organized events aim to maintain and develop the exceptional cultural heritage and ethnographic tradition of the Ptuj-area and Slovenia as a whole. The joy and playfulness of the carnival, along with a touch of mysticism, attracts more than 100.000 visitors to the city’s streets and squares each year.

It originates from the centuries-old tradition of celebrating the time of “Pust” in the Drava and Ptuj fields, a time when carnival masks and old customs allow us to express our otherwise hidden joy and merriment.

The traditional Ptuj “Kurentovanje” is an event that starts on Saturday, a good week before Shrove Tuesday, with a meeting of typical Slovenian carnival characters and masks.

Various events are scheduled for the whole week. The city streets and squares come alive in the afternoon with performances by artists, street theaters and musicians, and in the evenings, the party continues in carnival costumes with plenty of good food and drink in the carnival hall, where popular domestic and foreign music groups perform.

The main event of the carnival occurs on Sunday with the traditional international carnival parade, watched by between 60,000 and 70,000 visitors. The carnival ends on Shrove Tuesday with the burial of “Pust”.

Ptujsko Kurentovanje - Kurent
Ptujsko Kurentovanje - Kurent

Slovenia is home to very diverse and colorful carnival customs and more than a hundred different folk masks, but in our opinion the most famous and interesting ones can be found right here during Ptuj's “Kurentovanje” carnival. The traditional “Kurent” or “Korant” carnival character is not only known throughout Slovenia, but the entire world.

The Ptuj “Kurentovanje” carnival is not just an event; it is an experience that you should definitely not miss.

Hotel Mitra Ptuj special carnival-time offer:

  • special packages with affordable prices for rooms and carnival events
  • all-week tickets for the Carnival Hall
  • carnival mask and decorations workshop
  • live music in the hotel café

“Kurent” – the Central Carnival Character

The “Kurent” or “Korant” is the central traditional carnival mask of the Ptuj Carnival and at the same time the most famous and popular traditional carnival character of the Ptuj and Drava fields as well as the Haloze area.

The Kurents as we know them today come from old folk tradition. In the past, only unmarried men were allowed to don the Kurent’s mask, but today even women and children participate.

We know two types of Kurents: the feathered “Korant” from Markovci and the horned “Kurent” from Haloze. The Kurent is dressed in a sheepskin coat, wears a chain with bells around his waist, gaiters on his legs and an ornate mask on his head. His outfit also includes a club adorned with hedgehog quills called a “ježevka”, which he holds in his left hand.

People attribute supernatural powers to the Kurents, as their demonic appearance, jumping rituals and ringing bells are supposed to chase out the winter and call spring back to the land.

The Kurent is the mascot, symbol and ambassador of Ptuj, the Ptuj area and Slovenia as a whole.

Ptujsko Kurentovanje - Kurent
Tradicionalni dogodki na Ptuju - letni sejmi

Yearly town fairs

Fairs were important events for commercial business in the Middle Ages, and they used to last much longer than just one day. The longest even went on for several weeks. There are three traditional and established fairs in the city of Ptuj, namely Jurijev (St. George’s), Ožbaltov (St. Oswald’s) and Katarinin (St. Catherine’s).

Fairs have always attracted people from near and far to the city, especially traveling merchants, for which such a fair was the best opportunity to strike bargain.

This way of trading has been going on for a very long time and so during fairs, special rules for order and the safety of people and goods were put in place. In Ptuj, these rules were also contained as provisions in the two oldest city statutes from 1376 and 1513.

Early in the morning on the day of the fair, a “fair symbol” called the Hand of Justice was placed on the medieval Ptuj square. It was a metal hand holding a sword. Its placement was announced, according to the old custom, by a march through the city, with a whistler, a drummer and a shot from a mortar. As long as the symbol was being displayed during the fair, only certain merchants were allowed to sell their products. When it was taken down at noon, everyone was allowed to trade.

The city authorities also displayed the official weights and measures for the fair by the city gates. This meant that the weights and measures had to be uniform for all traders.

Today, the traditional Ptuj fairs are places where medieval merchant tradition meets modern trends. You can buy anything from antiques, modern technical appliances and traditional handicrafts. In short, something for everyone.

Today’s fairs

Today’s fairs take place on all the city streets and last only one day. In the event that the date of the fair falls on a Sunday, it is postponed to the next working day.

  • St. George’s Fair takes place on April 23rd and is accompanied by a medieval market, organized by the “Royal-Imperial Ptuj” Society (Kraljevo-cesarski Ptuj)
  • St. Oswald's fair takes place on August 5th and coincides with the city holiday “Ptuj Summer Night”.
  • St. Catherine's Fair takes place on November 25th and is an introduction to the pre-holiday December events.


Tradicionalni dogodki - srednjeveški sejem Ptuj
Tradicionalni dogodki na Ptuju - Dobrote s slovenskih kmetij

Specialities of Slovenian Farms

The traditional exhibition “Specialities of Slovene Farms” is already a central and well-known event in Ptuj, where local farmers present their homemade culinary delicacies.

The Specialities of Slovenian Farms offer culinary delicacies such as:  baked goods, dairy and meat products, vinegars, oils, dried fruits, fruit wines, juices, jams, spirits, wines, compotes and canned vegetables.

During the event, a rich cultural program that attracts many domestic and foreign visitors unfolds. Visitors may also taste and buy delicious homemade products.

Welcome to Ptuj – city of countless culinary delights. 

During the “Specialities of Slovenian Farms” event, hotel Mitra Ptuj offers:

  • special packages with affordable prices for rooms and events
  • award-winning traditional desserts and specialities served in the hotel café

Ptuj Summer Night

The people of Ptuj like to have fun and visit events to celebrate, entertain ourselves and pass on and preserve our oral tradition.

Ptuj’s official city holiday is celebrated on August 5th or the first Saturday in August, as a reminder of the medieval founding of Ptuj – the year 1513, when the Archbishop of Salzburg gave the citizens of Ptuj a new city statute.

The summer months in Ptuj host many entertainment, cultural, sports and ethnic festivals and events, reaching their peak on the day of the “Ptuj summer night” celebration. Numerous performances by music groups take place on the old town center squares and streets, and at midnight, the sky above Ptuj is lit up by fireworks. Around 10,000 visitors gather in the city at that time.

During the Ptuj summer night event, hotel Mitra Ptuj offers:

  • special packages with affordable prices for rooms and events
  • live music in the hotel café and accompanying program on the streets of Ptuj


Ptujska poletna noč na Ptuju