Slovenian Mardi Gras in Cleveland ever more popular

Cleveland, 1 February - The Slovenian community in Cleveland, the US, will hold its own Kurentovanje, a festival focussing on the most distinguished Slovenian carnival figure, next week.

Slovenian traditional Kurents visit Ljubljana.
Photo: Domen groegl/STA
File photo

Those interested in joining in will be in for a week of good food, fun, Slovenian culture and monsters - that is the Kurents, which are chasing away winter.

The Kurent costume consists of sheep skins girded with chains that hold huge cow bells, leg warmers, a headgear with horns, a pointed nose and a bright red tongue.

According to organiser Nicole Kusold-Matheou, the Kurentovanje was launched in 2013 to promote Slovenian culture in general.

What was a small ethnic festival six years ago has developed into a several-day carnival. Last year, the number of people coming to see the parade in St Clair Avenue rose to 8,000, while the first festival was visited by 2,000.

To make sure fellow Americans understand what Kurentovanje is, the Slovenian community dubbed it the Slovenian Mardi Gras Festival.

This year's festivities will get under way on Monday, culminating with all-day festivities and a carnival parade on Saturday, 10 February.

© STA, 2018