Date: 14. February 2020
Time to read: 2 min
The Lions Club stew cook-off is the biggest open-air charity event and carnival in Slovenia. It brings people together in festivities, culinary delights and good company. The traditional event takes place under a different slogan every year in February. This year, the slogan is Sharing is caring. All the proceeds from the event will go to families in need in Ptuj and the surrounding area.
Every year, this tradition attracts more than 5,000 people to Ptuj, the oldest Slovenian city. This culinary event takes place at the same time as the Folk Parade. The Folk Parade is a special etnographic experience, offering precious insights into the colourful Shrovetide customs from up close as well as from afar.
- Traditional folk characters, entered on the UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, participate at this event, namely the Slovenian Kurents, the Bulgarian Sourvakari, the Croatian busós and bell ringers. Each year at the opening folk parade, you can see carnival folk masks and characters from other countries as well. Photo: Marko Pigac/www.slovenia.info
- You can see numerous customes on the streets of the Ptuj. Photo: Marko Pigac/www.slovenia.info
- The event represents the charitable element of the international two-week Kurentovanje carnival. Photo: Marko Pigac/www.slovenia.info
The visitors on the streets and squares of Ptuj will be in good company with numerous traditional Shrovetide characters such as the Kurenti, kopjaši (spearsmen), cigani (gypsies), orači (ploughmen), ruse (animal costumes), piceki (cockerels), bears and more.
The carnival characters together with the visitors then continue the festivities at the traditional Obarjada stew fest, where they engage in stew tastings and, at the same time, charitable fundraising.
A culinary event with a charitable touch
Each year, the organiser, Lions Club Ptuj, puts together teams, mostly representatives of companies, to compete in a stew cook-off following different recipes. The winning Obara, a traditional local stew in the Ptuj region, is chosen by a special committee which selects from a minimum of 20 different stews. In the competition, all the teams are given the same set of ingredients: chicken, vegetables, spices. The teams then experiment with different recipes. That special flavour, however, comes from the charitable intentions the teams add to their pots.
- The event represents the charitable element of the international two-week Kurentovanje carnival. Photo: Maja Krušič Šega
- Obara Photo: Maja Krušič Šega
- Lions Club Ptuj is part of the Lions Club Slovenia, and one of 59 Lions Clubs all over the country. With their fundraising activities, they help people of the region in distress. Photo: Maja Krušič Šega
The visitors to the Obarjada stew festival can also get a taste of other local delicacies. Never missing are the traditional Haloze bunka (bulk), Prleška tünka, pork greaves, home-made desserts and a glass of the famous Haloze wine.
The Lions Club delivers over 4,500 free packages of food and more than 100 litres of wine per year. And there are always home-made spirits and apple juice to be found at their stalls. Every year, the best potato roasters complement the culinary offer with roasted potatoes, a typical Slovenian delicacy. At this year’s carnival, it will be the potato roasters from Bukovci. The Lions Club Ptuj gives all the funds collected with the stew cook-off and potato roasting to families and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Besides the culinary pleasures and fundraising, the event also offers also live music. There are many performances by local musicians known for getting people on their feet.
On top of satisfying your taste buds, you are bound to become overwhelmed with the charitable spirit.
Slovenians are no strangers to sharing and often come together for a good cause. This time will be no different. Sharing is caring, and at this event, delicious too.
- This year, the Obarjada stew festival will take place at 9:00 on 15 February in the courtyard of the Minorit monastery in Ptuj. Photo:Maja Krušič Šega
- In the last 20 years, Lions Club Ptuj has helped people from Dravsko and Ptujsko polje, Haloze and the Slovenske Gorice. Photo:Maja Krušič Šega