Door-to-door rounds of Kurenti


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Inscribed in 2017 (12.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© Denis del Bianchi, 2015

Door-to-door rounds of Kurenti is a Shrovetide custom practised from Candlemas (2 February) to Ash Wednesday. Kurenti practise their rounds through villages and nowadays also through the town of Ptuj. Groups consisting of Kurenti and one or more devils run from house to house, form a circle in the yard and jump around the owners. According to their beliefs, the noisy bell-ringing and brandishing of the wooden stick chase everything evil away and bring happiness to those they visit. Men, women and children are actively involved in all activities associated with the custom. Kurenti normally form groups, and some establish associations. One important bearer is the Federation of Kurenti Associations, which acts as the umbrella organization. The practice helps strengthen interpersonal bonds and is key to the regional identity of the communities concerned. Kindergartens and elementary schools assist in the safeguarding process, and some formal education courses and informal workshops help maintain respect for the practice. Related knowledge and skills are most commonly transmitted within the family, but youngsters also learn from elderly members of the groups they are part of and schools and museums play an important role by organizing activities, workshops and contests.