December 7, 2017
Thirty-three new items have been added to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, with the new entries decided at meeting in Korea and announced today. Slovenia made the list with its tradition of the Kurenti, the plural of Kurent, carnival figures who wear distinctive furry outfits and parade the streets of certain towns along with devils and other characters, waving sticks and bells in a 10-day festival to scare winter away and celebrate fertility and the coming of spring.
The most famous such event, and its peak, take place in Ptuj on Shrove Sunday, which in 2018 will be on February, 11, with the festivities starting more than a week earlier, on Candlesmas (Friday, February 2). While the carnival tradition and the Kurent go back into the mists of folk tradition, the festival in Ptuj, known as Kurentovanje, and which marks the modern re-emergence of the figure, started in 1960. A similar event, and also on a large scale, is held in Cerkno each year
Photo: Inovativna Fotografija / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Details of all the new items on the list can be found here, and they include a number of other traditions from the region, such as Konjic woodcarving (Bosnia and Herzegovina); cultural practices associated with March 1 (Bulgaria; the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; the Republic of Moldova; Romania); Kolo, a traditional folk dance (Serbia); as well as the Art of Neapolitan ‘Pizzaiuolo,’ from Italy, which refers to the making, spinning and cooking of pizza dough.