Pipistrel was visited by a group of Korant – Slovenian mythological demons.
They stormed our production lines, surprising the employees and chasing away the winter with their scary costumes.
They rushed through our administrative building…
…producing deafening noise with their huge bells.
They even wanted to kidnap the founder of Pipistrel, our general manager Ivo!
However, in the end they proved that they were actually very kind and friendly guys.
They took group photos with Pipistrel employees:
And they even brought us a beautiful gift: a miniature Korant mask!
But nevertheless, they remained a bit mischievous: they made Ivo, the founder of Pipistrel, wear a Korant mask! 🙂
“You were visited by WHAT?“
The Korant (or Kurent) is a Slovenian mythological good-natured demon, who chases away winter and invites spring into the land every year. According to the old belief, he was a demon of fertility, bringing good harvest.
Groups of Korant wear traditional sheepskin garments, holding wooden clubs with hedgehog spikes and wearing belts with large cow bells, to make maximum noise when jumping around and dancing. The noise is believed to “drive off the winter”. They wear huge helmets – masks also made of sheepskin and crowned with pheasant feathers or bull horns and coloured stripes. Korant may look scary, but it is a positive character, because its presence is believed to announce the beginning of spring.
Each group of Korant must also have a whip-cracker. Cracking a whip requires a lot of skill and practice. When this long, specially braided whip is cracked correctly, it produces a deafening bang when the tip of the whip moves faster than the speed of sound and creates a small sonic boom. The noise can get up to 150 db!
(No wonder that winter gets scared and runs away, right…?)
Korant or Kurent is the most recognisable mythological creature in Slovenia, therefore the largest Slovenian and one of the Europe’s greatest outdoor ethno carnivals – the “Kurentovanje” festival in the city of Ptuj (eastern Slovenia) – is named after it. This most popular and most ethnologically significant carnival in Slovenia has a long history: the tribal ritual is likely to date back to the time of Celtic culture, but in its modern version it was first organised in 1960, so it has more than 60 years of history.
Nowadays, this rite of spring and fertility is celebrated for 10 consecutive days in February and climaxes on Shrove Sunday with the carnival in Ptuj. Each year it draws more than 50,000 participants and visitors from all continents. In 2016 it was proclaimed as the 7th greatest carnival in the world by Lonely Planet.
More info: Wikipedia
Pipistrel would like to thank the group KDFD “Korant” Spuhlja, who visited us and brought the spirit of spring with their performance.
A great big thanks also to the Pipistrel employee, Mr. Marko Žele, who organized the entire event.
Thank you Marko, without your ideas and your help we would still have winter! 🙂