February –Kurentovanje Carnival, Ptuj

Carnival season’s amazing the world over and making it a mission to do as many as possible is a worthy ambition. Unfortunately lots of the better known events are so crowded and commercialised they’re hard to describe as family-friendly. Kurant Ovanje in Slovenia’s the exception.

It has winter-driving-out demons (Kurent), a week long list of kids events, parades and parties, true Mardi Gras style feasting and a warm, friendly local atmosphere – even at its busiest. The carnival’s held in Ptuj which is Slovenia’s oldest town so even the dress-up has historic roots with endless variations on earth spirits, jesters and ancient aristocracy. But the Kurents beat all: disguised in sheepskin, covered in cowhide, horned, masked and boisterous, they’re great fun and kids find them more entertaining than terrifying.

Good to know: Ptuj isn’t just Slovenia’s Carnival Capital, it’s also one of the country’s iconic thermes and almost as famous for family spas and waterparks as festivals.

Find out more about Ptuj’s Kurent Ovanje carnival in north eastern Slovenia.

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