We’ll show you how to celebrate like a local

Thanks to four lovely seasons, visiting Slovakia is always a good idea. If you’re a party-goer keen to have an authentic taste of original folklore tradition, head to this country at the very heart of Europe especially during Carnival. With a multitude of social happenings taking place across the country, it’s probably the merriest time of the year! Take advantage of this and gain new experiences: parade in the streets in a masked procession, master traditional dance moves, and experience an amusing burial of a double bass — all while enjoying warm hospitality of the locals. We’ll show you what not to miss!

In the beginning was the word — and in the case of your next exciting adventure, the word is fašiangy. That is the Slovak language name for the season between Epiphany (January 6) and movable Ash Wednesday (which falls on February 22 in 2023). For those who observe the austerity of Lent, this time offers one last chance for merriment before the onset of the holy season of meditation upon one’s sins. That’s why fašiangy plays out as a wild celebration of relentless feasting on sumptuous meals and endless singing and dancing. It culminates with a masked procession that you too can be part of!

Head to Čičmany in the north. Seeing its gingerbread houses, you will fall in a love with this village. Dress in a folk costume (or choose one of those animal-inspired ones, such as a goat, a bear or a wild bull (called turoň) and join a jolly group of masked carolers. They are usually accompanied by a band playing a violin and an accordion. Embrace the opportunity and learn well-wishing poems, jovial folk songs, and humorous sayings in Slovak from them! As they wander from door to door, they are offered homemade cakes, sausages, and eggs. Get ready to taste traditional fánky or šišky (filled doughnuts) and to have your glass filled over and over with mead or plum brandy, slivovica. After that a feast is made from the collected meals — just imagine scrambled eggs for the whole village prepared by the mayor herself!

In Modra, a town near the capital of Bratislava, you can sign up for a cabbage soup cooking competition or come taste and decide who truly mastered the recipe. Since Modra is famous for its centuries-old tradition of quality winemaking, the occasion is also traditionally connected with wine tasting. Sip it as you watch the locals perform their new dance moves and enjoying lively music until the morning!

You might also visit Nitra, one of the oldest towns in Slovakia, built on seven hills, like Rome. The Carnival parade will enchant you with its skilled drummers, stilt walkers, folklorists, majorettes, and theatre artists. If you get hungry, just follow the spicy scent of meat specialties — and make sure to bring home a unique souvenir from the folk craft fair! The merrymaking ends with the traditional burial of the double bass. This is a parody of a funeral symbolizing that the silence of Lent that lies ahead. Come to Slovakia and emerge yourself in an authentic fašiangy experience!

Things to consider before traveling

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Some tips to consider while traveling

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