Chasing Away Winter

It’s the time of the year, when we try to chase away winter. I hope we succeed, because I’m really fed up with the cold and short days. The way we do it, of course, is by dressing up in costumes and acting smarter than we act the rest of the year. Believe me, that’s how it is in Slovenia. We don’t have a carnival the glamour of Venice or nudity of Rio (it’s a bit cold for that), but we do have a bunch of groups dressing up creatively. What I like most are the old creatures, traditional groups like the Korants. I also like modern thematic groups, like frogs (below) or Legos, but I don’t like groups like “Godlarji” very much. They are a large group with different smaller thematic groups that represent current social and political issues in the country in a funny and honest way. I don’t like them much, because their political and social caricature a lot of times does not bring a critical message that they are promoting. I don’t see the point in having so many groups representing local clubs and have a bunch of young people raving, dressed normally but wearing a wig bought in a local store. That’s nothing but a commercial for that local club. Where’s the message? Another thing I don’t like about them is how primitive they are too often. Not only do groups of ravers have anything to do with this tradition, but you also can’t have groups depicting the theme of sex and whore houses and stuff like that, because the carnivals are a family event and the vast majority of visitors are children. Years ago, the sides of one of their carriages carried tens of hard**** p**n (I don’t need that kind of hits in browsers…) posters! I think that same year, they had a carriage that represented a brothel and they had real strippers – naked – in there. So, what’s that got to do with the tradition of “Pust” as we call it. The tradition of the carnival season? I see primitive revelry, house parties, every week, I don’t think we need extra promotion. Nor do we need to promote brothels. Sorry, but I don’t see any meaningful content here. Too many carts on the theme of revelry. Sorry, I favor traditional groups with sophisticated costumes of mythological creatures that chase away winter. They’re creepy, and really play their role well. Like some horned giants coming out of the woods silently and slowly, in a group, one next to another, observing us. Anyway, this year’s carnival in my home town Kranj was great. But in my opinion, the best carnival is in Ptuj. Another famous one is in Cerknica, but is unfortunately overshadowed by excessive drinking.

Here are a few images from Kranj.

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