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Kal carnival

PUST IN PUSTOVKA VODITA POVORKOThe carnival (called Pust) in Kal nad Kanal is one of the oldest folk traditions, which is kept alive by the local folklore group. They have revived traditional carnival characters from the time between the two wars or even further back, which have only survived in the memories of older locals and in ethnological records. The roots of the Kal carnival take us back to the time of ancient customs and primitive masks or taurishkas. According to ancestral tradition, the taurishkas were; makinc, mahošar and cundrin and pu-'n-pu forest spirits who chased away winter so that the sun could regain its power and turn everything green again. The last time they visited the villages around Kal was before the First War, when the last mahošerija took place by candlelight and resinous reeds.

Traditionally, a black humpbacked carnival girl with a birch broom and a creepy carnival man, wearing cowbells and holding a pile of ashes, haunted the houses and courtyards. Behind a brass band and the klabason collecting offerings, masked pairs were lined up in procession. The bride and groom, representatives of fertility, the peasant couple represented labour, the armourer and his wife personified order and authority, the doctor and the nurse brought health, the lord and lady of the town represented wealth, and the beggar couple represented poverty.

Somewhere in between the masked figures you could find the "pu 'n pu” (half and half) - a very interesting and always topical figure with two heads, a man on the right and a woman on the left. Back and forth, now in front, now behind, like a ghost of the past ran the cundrin, draped in a white sheet with various pieces of fluttering cloth sewn on it and rang a large bell called ozor.

The members of the folklore group Kal nad Kanalom have put much effort into the research and recreation of the carnival heritage. The materials were carefully chosen to ensure that they did not stray from the original ones. The seamstresses dressed the characters in a new way, as designed by Elza Pavšič, who also made face masks from paper using the old method and added her own touch to each one.

And so, the Kal carnival and its entourage are alive again and, according to the old custom, they are chasing away winter and bringing spring and a good harvest to our region. The festival is being warmly received by hospitable locals, affirming and encouraging the carnival tradition so it can live on and be passed on to the next generations.


Foto: Elza Pavšič, Dušan Gerlica

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