Jurjevanje in Bela krajina 19. – 23. June 2024

The Oldest Folklore Festival in Slovenia

Jurjevanje in Bela krajina, the oldest folk festival in Slovenia, once again brought together enthusiasts of folklore and tradition

Črnomelj, June 2023

Between June 21st and 25th, Bela krajina came alive in all its cultural splendor as the oldest folk festival in Slovenia, Jurjevanje in Bela krajina, took place. This traditional event has been an indispensable part of the summer event calendar in the region for many years, significantly contributing to the recognition of the Bela krajina region as a tourist destination. This year, the festival once again delighted around 9000 domestic and foreign visitors. For years, the festival has been organized by the Public organization for tourism (RIC Bela krajina), which brings together members from other organizations of the Črnomelj municipality in the organizational committee.

This year's Jurjevanje in Bela krajina marked its 59th consecutive year. Over the course of five festival days, around 1200 performers, including 500 folk dancers, took to the stage at seven venues. The festival hosted 14 adult folk dance groups from Slovenia and abroad, as well as 13 children's folk dance groups. In addition to the main folk performances, the festival featured around 40 accompanying events, along with six exhibitions at four different locations. Jurjevanje thus offered an authentic experience of Bela krajina folklore, captivating visitors and immersing them in the world of tradition and music.

On this occasion, the mayor of the Črnomelj municipality, Andrej Kavšek, who is also the general sponsor of the festival, highlighted: “Jurjevanje is not just an event, a festival, it is something more. The atmosphere of Jurjevanje cannot be described in words, it must be felt. And once again this year, the diversity of the program touched our hearts. Much of the credit goes to the organizing committee, which began preparations for all the details early in the year. This path is never taken for granted, but carefully planned, even with numerous challenges, yet the committee is like a well-coordinated team that knows how to overcome all obstacles. We can be satisfied with this year's Jurjevanje and we are already looking forward to the next, jubilee edition.”

Connecting Tradition, Culture and Tourism

Jurjevanje in Bela krajina is proof that tradition still plays an important role in the modern world. The customs preserved and nurtured by the people of Bela krajina attract visitors from all corners who wish to experience an authentic cultural experience and discover the hidden treasures of the picturesque landscape of the Bela krajina region. With the pride of the people of Bela krajina in their culture, the festival significantly contributes to strengthening the region's identity and its recognition as a tourist destination.

At the conclusion of the festival, Barbara Papež Lavrič, director of RIC Bela krajina, expressed gratitude to all the sponsoring companies that financially supported this year's Jurjevanje, as well as to all individuals and associations that contributed to the program in various ways. However, the greatest thanks go to the visitors for their attendance and love for folklore, singing, and music. “All of us need the socializing that a festival like Jurjevanje offers,” emphasized Lavričeva, adding that following the successful completion of Jurjevanje in Bela krajina 2023, they are already looking forward to next year when the 60th edition will take place. This significant anniversary will undoubtedly further strengthen the connection between tradition, culture, and tourism in Bela krajina, Lavričeva is convinced.

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