My hometown Ptuj is the oldest town and the carnival capital of Slovenia (situated in central Europe). It is where great carnival called Kurentovanje has been taking place since 1960.
The main event of Kurentovanje is the procession of carnival masks (also from Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Austria, Italy), which attracts more than 50.000 people every year (which is a lot for a country with only 2 million inhabitants).
Carnival time starts at midnight on 2nd February – Candlemas with huge bonfire. The marry part of the carnival lasts for approximately eleven days, starting on Saturday, a week before Shrove Sunday, when only traditional carnival masks form a procession on the streets of Ptuj and when the Prince of the Carnival is bestowed upon the honour to rule the town during the carnival period. Each day features performances of masks and many other entertaining events taking place on the square in front of the Town Hall and in the carnival tent. All these activities culminate in the Saturday’s procession of traditional, and typically carnival masks, the burial of Carnival and the return of power to the Mayor of the town.
Our main carnival figure is Kurent, a mythical figure who was believed to have the power to chase away winter and usher in spring. Groups of people dressed as Kurents wear sheepskin, don masks and fur caps, and running through town, jumping and chasing away winter and “evil spirits” with huge cow bells and wooden club. Traditionally, the Kurent's outfit used to be reserved only to unmarried men, but nowadays Kurent can be as well married men as children and women.
I hope that they did a good job and scared away the winter. spring we are waiting for you :)
P.S.: Sorry about bad photos, they were moving to fast for my camera :)