The Oldest Folk Art Festival Jurjevanje Opens in Slovenia

The oldest folk art festival opens in Črnoml. This year, Jurjevanje v Beli krajini claims the title of the first event in Slovenia held without household waste.

 “Five days, 12 stages, 60 program events, 800 participants, 12,000 guests, folklore, dancing, art, handicraft, music, theatre, cooking and wine, the second life of the Old City in Črnoml, and all these—without garbage,” say the organisers of the festival.

Jurjevanje was originally a folk art festival first held in 1964 in the Jurjevanska draga district in Črnoml. This festival keeps the singing and dancing traditions of the White Carniola region, and acquaints the public with the work of international folk bands and performers.

 The highlight of the current festival is the “Zero Waste” project, thanks to which Jurjevanje became an event with a minimal amount of household waste. “Tourism is a major world industry, which is developing successfully in Slovenia. We want to develop sustainable tourism, including in natural connection with the pristine nature and cultural heritage, to promote the image of Slovenia in Europe and the world. This will allow the region of White Carniola to receive the title of the Advanced European Landmark (Slovene: Evropska destinacija odličnosti) and the Green Landmark of Slovenia (Slovene: Zelena destinacija Slovenije),” said the press secretary of the festival Urša Flek.

“Therefore, with the support of the Ecologists without Borders Society (Slovene: Ekologi brez meja), which is the representative office of the Zero Waste organisation in Slovenia, we decided to take a bold step and used the idea of ​​Zero Waste in our festival. Now the festival can be called an event with a minimum amount of household waste, and after the festival we will sum up and will be able to confirm this title more accurately,” added Urša Flek. The goal will be achieved if the waste is at least 30% less, while 9/10 of the recycled waste will be sorted by categories.

The organisers of the festival installed 6 eco-containers for rational waste disposal, as well as 6 stations with purified drinking water. During the festival, the hygienically clean glasses, utensils and other reusable cutlery will be used, the quantity of advertising printed materials will decrease, and ecologically clean products of local production will be served for visitors and participants.

The festival is held for the third time in the Old Town of Črnoml. Bringing the festival to the city limits, according to the organisers, allowed to obtain additional infrastructure, expand its format and content. In an interview with Radio Slovenija, the organisers’ representative Jože Žura stated that the main events of the Jurjevanje festival would be held from Friday to Sunday. It will involve performances of 20 folk bands, including 3 foreign bands.

“The main event of the evening program is the performances by folk bands from Slovenia and abroad, as well as concerts of drummers and trumpeters. Concerts of pop bandss, mainly aimed at attracting young people, are part of the accompanying program VirejFest (formerly EtnoFolkFest). This year Koala Voice, Ana Pupedan and Jani Kovačič, Generator and Čao Portorož will appear on the stage,” Urša Flek also noted. She nevertheless stressed that Jurjevanje is, first of all, a folk art festival, which several decades ago was organised by the goal of preserving the “jurjevanje” ritual and attracting tourists to the region of White Carniola.

The festival is part of the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Arts (CIOFF) and has official national and international accreditation.