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.