We enjoyed the Slovak Radvanský jarmok fair

Beautiful Slovak folk costumes called kroj, traditional cuisine of our grandmas and amazing celebration till the early morning. This is exactly how the 362nd year of Radvanský jarmok fair looked like.

Thousands of locals from Banská Bystrica and its surroundings came to enjoy the weekend of 6th to 8th of September at Námestie SNP square in Banská Bystrica.

Radvanský jarmok fair was welcoming not only local visitors but foreigners as well. They couldn't stop wondering about fascinating Slovak traditions and fully enjoyed the authentic Slovak celebration. These types of fairs are called jarmok and are very popular in our country. You can understand it as a traditional street market or fair with a lot of locals selling local food and drinks, live music, handicrafts, carnival rides and other attractions. These fairs usually take place in the city center of several cities all over Slovakia during weekends so people can celebrate till the late night.


The history of Radvanský jarmok fair

The history of Radvanský jarmok fair goes back to the 17th century. At that time, the fair was one of the most popular and largest fairs in the whole Upper Hungary. In the past a lot of traders were coming from all around bringing their products for trade. These were mainly pottery products, weaver, woodcarving, cheese and tannery products.

Originally, the fair took place in the city of Radvaň, located close by Banská Bystrica. Nowadays, due to capacity reasons, it was moved to the Námestie SNP square in the Metropolis of Central Slovakia.

The symbol of Radvanský jarmok fair is a wooden cooking spoon called vareška. The tradition is to buy one of these vareškas in the local kiosks and tap the butt of any girl walking by. This interesting tradition was kept until these days, so during the weekend you could see a lot of young men who didn't hesitate and accepted this challenge of their ancestors.


Bells, bells, bells

This year's Radvanský jarmok fair was dedicated to traditional Slovak bells, their manufacture and manual bell ringing. In 2011, the traditional bell ringing and Slovak bell tradition in general was placed to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Slovakia.


70 skirts she had (a traditional Slovak folk song lyrics)

The highlight of Radvanský jarmok fair 2019 was the Slovak folk costume day. The new Slovak record in the number of people dressed in folk costumes situated at a certain place was reached. Believe it or not, at the square there were 3882 people with folk costumes from different regions of Slovakia and abroad. This was almost a thousand more folk costumes compared to the previous year. The costumes were presented in a folk costume parade through the city. This incredible moment was followed by a phenomenal performance by the Slovak folk ensemble SĽUK.


Feasting till the early morning

In general, the program was very rich. Brass music lovers could enjoy the band Dychová hudba Selčianka and our little ones could be involved in special creative workshops designing the bells and vareškas. In the courtyard of the City Hall history enthusiasts could see an exhibition of wooden metallurgical machines.

Námestie SNP square dominated with the voices of the multi genre vocal group Voising and the sensual dancing rhythms by Romano Jilo ("Gypsy Heart"). The new album of Šajbianske pršťoke was “baptized” here as well.

People were entertained by the theatre Teatro Neline and the master bellman who demonstrated how to cast and make bells. Of course, King's Svätopluk Falconers were capturing everyone with demonstrations of training the eager falcons.

There was always something to enjoy and adore. You could stop by at almost 300 different kiosks with food and drinks or folk art products.


During the last day of the fair, on Sunday, thanks were given to all craftsmen. According to the tradition, the craftsmen brought symbolic gifts to the city. The Vice Mayor of Banská Bystrica, Jakub Gajdošík, symbolically smashed a clay jug. We believe it would bring us a good luck. After all, the folklore ensemble Bystrina was performing.


Despite of the unpleasant weather Radvanský jarmok fair 2019 was very successful. Thanks to ongoing fun visitors almost forgot about the raindrops coming from the cloudy sky.


Our team already can't wait for the 363rd Radvanský jarmok fair in 2020. In case you are hesitating about visiting this event we absolutely recommend you to do so!

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