Saturday, March 1, 2014

Kurentovanje — a Slovene Carnival

The only one in America, is in Cleveland Ohio. And it was done for the second time to-day. Somehow, for a couple of hours it caught one of the small windows of above freezing temperature this winter. Just off of St. Clair Avenue is Saint Vitus, a Slovene parish, in what was the oldest Slovene neighborhood in Cleveland. The formal carnival was first organised after WWII in the oldest city of Slovenia, Ptuj. Ptuj enters the history books in a.D. 69, when the Roman legions elected Vespasian as emperor. Any reason for a celebration is a good one, and these neighborhoods in Cleveland have long been battered, so this ethnic levity is good.

Carnival is the pre-Lenten season of merry making. This local one is celebrated on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday. A 'kurent' is conjectured to be a character of the pre-christian slavonic mythos.
Here we see an horse and buggy to the left of center, and to the right a princess whom was to ride. The horse was spooked, and eventually was turned around and went back downtown. Last year two police horses were scared away. The horses were scared of the kurenti.
people posing with kurenti (in sheepskins)
Ukrainian dancers, Kurenti, St. Martin de Porres cheerleaders
 and the music is trucked in

At the Sochi Olympic Games, the Slovenes won eight skiing medals. Tina Maze won two gold.
After the parade was over there were a few minutes of dancing and photos. And almost immediately, the people had to retreat to the sidewalk under police orders.

1 comment:

  1. I arrived after parade and didn't get to see the kurents without their costumes (caught one without the outfit but he was enjoying a beer with friends).

    Do you have any extra kurent pics I could use in my review at I would credit back to your site.

    Thanks! Tried to find an email to contact you but couldn't. Mine is easily through the site.