One could write on the birth and evolution of the Slovenian Kurentovanje Festival from a sociological perspective, boring readers with verbiage about its origins and relation to pagan holidays … but we won’t. Histories of the festival and the importance of Kurents can be found elsewhere and are relatively enjoyable to read.
What SGS can write about is Cleveland’s Slovenian community’s recent adoption of the festival and its application in the 60s of our beloved St. Clair. The festival has all the essential elements … monsters, beauty queens, and a dirty mix of city and suburban. The purpose of the Kurentovanje festival is to serve Old Man Winter his eviction notice, and Cleveland has now done this successfully for two years running.
Of all the things our City should rally behind, it is this winter festival. This year has been insufferably cold, and filled with a conversation loop that can only be disrupted by a furry white monster and all the evil spirits we can summon. Pointed hatred and laughter in times of misery is what we do well, Kurentovanje gives us the opportunity to celebrate our collective suffering and turn it into one of the greatest experiences of the year.
St. Patrick’s Day lacks a palatable color scheme and is too heavy on law enforcement, Christmas died a hundred years ago and was reborn in the Steelyard Commons, Kurentovanje is where it’s at; bring your inner beast (and beauty) next year, the cold isn’t going anywhere.