Gajdošské Fašiangy in Slovakia
From February 21-24, the musicians of the Forge of Tradition of the Folklore Group “Wielkopolanie” went on their first foreign artistic trip to Slovakia to take part in traditional Fasiangas, or Slovak remnants. For the 33rd time, the Guild of Slovak Gajdoszas organized the International Festival “Gajdošské Fašiangy” in three mountain villages: Mala Lehota, Velka Lehota and Jedlove Kosotlany. This festival boasts a long tradition that makes it one of the oldest bagpipes gatherings in Europe. This event has been held for many years in the company of guests from abroad, including Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, England, Austria, Italy and the Czech Republic.
According to the still alive tradition of Slovak remnants, which in the mountain region have been preserved almost unchanged for many years, young men have been wandering around the houses since Monday, singing, playing music and entertaining the hosts. Fasiangi are considered by the Slovaks as the happiest holidays, because they represent what they care about most and what brings them the most pleasure, i.e. music, dance and singing. Men offer residents two funny performances: sad or cheerful fasiang. Young bachelors, of course, take the opportunity to gain recognition among beautiful girls and show off their musical and dance skills – dancing “palicova” dance. Housewives and young ladies do not owe them and give them home baking. It is the residents’ responsibility to welcome guests to experience a period of prosperity and fasting throughout the whole year.
Dobrý deň gazdiná, máte fašangy?“
„Chlapci, majú fašangy ! Muzika, palicový !“
„Fašiangy, Turíce, Veľká noc príde, kto nemá kožucha, zima mu bude….“
This tradition is associated with the calendar of Catholic holidays, which has always been played in Slovakia by Gajda, and whose sound could never have died down during important events. Music-making and games are also accompanied by meetings of pipers (gajdosze), during which young musicians are admitted, starting their adventure with the traditions of the region. The five-day boisterous period of remnants ends with concerts and all-night folk fun for residents, during which folk musicians from the whole region perform. Musicians of Kuźnia Tradycji also participated in this year’s concerts in Mala Lehota and Jedlovy Kostolany, representing the musical traditions of Wielkopolska during 5 concerts. After Friday and Saturday ending of mardi gras, on Sunday came the time for silence and solemn masses framed by folk music, as well as the official farewell dinner for the hosts and invited guests.
Gajdoskie Fasiangy was an amazing opportunity to learn about the remnants of the remnants traditions already unknown in our regions. The multitude of costumes, instruments, songs and dances, and above all the huge involvement of the local community made a huge impression on our musicians, who were very warmly received and awarded by the residents, not only with thunderous applause, but also with traditional pastries and homemade products.