Ptuj, built beside the Drava River and crowned by a hilltop castle, hits the national news each year in February with its extraordinary Carnival celebration, known as Kurentovanje. During the 10-day festival the town's boys and men dress in the bizarre Kurent costume: a horned mask decorated with ribbons and flowers, a sheepskin cloak, and a set of heavy bells around the waist. The task of the Kurent is to drive away the winter and welcome in the spring. You can see Kurent figures on 18th-century building facades in the center of Ptuj, on Jadranska ulica 4 and 6. It's a charming place and worth an overnight stay.

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