Slovakia is rich with folklore tradition that reflects various aspects of our ancestors’ way of life.
Folk songs helped maintain the language, they were telling stories about love, grief or joy, while lively dances helped relieve from worries and woes. In the past, spinning and couple dances in both slow and fast pace were typical for all regions of Slovakia.
Male dances find their roots in medieval military dances, such as verbung, a dance typical for the region of Spis, accompanied by the sound of accordion. The brisk east-Slovak dance of karicka is danced by girls who accompany it with their songs. It presents the colours of the region of Zemplín through the spectacular folk costumes. In the course of time, polka has also become a traditional dance. The Saris polka is and old lively spinning dance of couples dancing one after the other in a fast pace in the circle.
Traditional Slovak dances, presented in folk costumes reveal rich, diverse and manifold dancing interpretations. Despite showing common features, they vary from region to region. The region of Saris is characterised by beauty and temperament, the region of Spis is typical with subtlety and sensitivity, while the region of Zemplin with diversity and richness of folk dances. In local villages customs and traditions still make vivid part of people’s lives.
Artistic ensembles, folklore ensembles and children’s folklore ensembles present not only folk dances and folk songs, but also live scenes. They present the silent beauty of folk clothes and restore the traditions of Slovak folklore that belongs among the richest cultures of the world.
The beauty of dance folklore is nowadays promoted by numerous folklore festivals that enable discovering both our folklore and the mentality of our nation. The major folklore festivals in the Presov Region include the Zamagurie Folklore Festival, the Saris Song and Dance Festival, the Festival of Ruthenian and Ukrainian Culture, the International Folk Costume Dolls Festival and the Upper-Torysa Folklore Festival.
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