In the Footsteps of Slovak Traditions

Published: 12. 7. 2021
Author: Michal Bartek
Photo: Photo Ramon Leško
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"The Slovak Costume Day continues this year despite the difficult pandemic situation. Once again we have prepared a series of documentary films for viewers. This year they map folk traditions and customs. During several months we visited almost 40 towns and villages," says Mária Reháková, the author of the Slovak Costume Day project.

The culmination of this event will bring together fans of Slovak folklore again this year in Banská Bystrica. "On the first of September, Constitution Day, representatives of the visited towns and villages and many others will perform during the day-long programme. And we have also prepared several surprises for the spectators. I believe that the situation and measures will allow us to meet as many people as possible. Although it may not be the same as two years ago, when almost 30 thousand people showed up," adds Mária Reháková.

On the occasion of the fourth year of the Slovak Costume Day, a unique exhibition of 36 photographs of costumes from all over Slovakia was organised in the gallery at Bratislava Castle. "The photographs were taken last year, when we travelled across Slovakia from west to east and from south to north, in the pursuit to show the beauty that is hidden in folk costumes," Mária Reháková says not hiding her excitement. The venue - Bratislava Castle - was chosen by the organisers deliberately, as a symbol not only of Bratislava, but of the whole of Slovakia.

The Slovak Costume Day project team travelled in the footsteps of Slovak traditions for several months in order to map customs and traditions from all over Slovakia. One of the places was Opatová, a village near Trenčín. The Opatovanka brass band, the Opatova accordionists, the Čakovec Folklore Ensemble, the Opatová Volunteer Fire Brigade and many enthusiastic citizens in their costumes gave a demonstration of how the "Thanksgiving for the harvest" takes place in this region.  There was a typical procession to the church, where the local parish priest blessed the gifts - such as bread, fruit, but also an accordion or bladder fiddle. Afterwards, everyone went to the mill, where the traditional presentation of the harvest wreath took place, followed by a full-blown harvest party.

event also attended the Mayor of Trenčín Richard Rybníček (above).

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