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No other European country has as strong and diverse folk traditions as Slovakia. Not surprising, considering that Slovakia has been at the crossroads of both traders and invaders for millennia – bringing goods and ideas from many other cultures and stimulating creativity in the making of everyday objects, entertainment and celebrations.

Helping to keep colorful local traditions alive is the mountainous terrain, which isolated and insulated communities from each other and the homogenizing influences of cultural “progress”. People in some Slovak villages wore folk costumes until the mid-20th century – both to preserve tradition and as a sign of resistance. While the country is now firmly in the 21st century, Slovaks take great pride in the distinctive music, dance, handicrafts and folklore that have been handed down through the generations.

Come and see it in museums, like the one-of-a-kind tinkers’ exhibit of figures made out of metal wire in Zilina’s Povazie Museum. Or the glittering icons and painted Easter eggs produced by the Rusyn/Ruthenian people of Eastern Slovakia showcased in Bardejov’s Saris museum. You can also shop for exquisite items made by contemporary artisans to bring home.

Step back in time at any of 10 “open-air” architectural museums where peasant houses, churches and other structures from centuries ago – all reflecting building traditions of a particular region and/or ethnic group — have been assembled and preserved.

Attend a performance of folk dance or music regularly given in Bratislava. Or at one of the many folk festivals held all around the country.

If folk things interest you, keep a lookout for the words “ethnography” or “ethnographic museum” – that’s the term used to denote everything related to folk traditions.

28 Responses to Folk

  1. judie June 7, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

    does anyone have knitting patterns for slovak socks?

    [Reply] replies:

    Hi Judie, I honestly don’t know what “Slovak socks” are. Could you be more specific?


  2. Pat Kovac Landry October 11, 2009 at 5:15 am #

    Hello, I am on a quest to find typical embroidery and cross-stitch patterns for the Kosice (western) and Dojc (eastern) areas. I have no living relatives that can help me. I would so appreciste any help you can give me. I also have a song my “Starenka” sang to me that I can only remember as, “Hi you sheetsky hi, ze-zeleni hi.”…that’s what it sounded like to my childish ear. Thank for any help you can provide.

    [Reply] replies:

    Hi Pat, for the embroidery patterns please, look at the website of Centre of Folk Art Production:
    They have definitely some patterns up on their website, but I am not sure whether those from your region. If they don’t, try to contact them.

    The other question… wow, you remember it very well, but of course the spelling is different. It is a Slovak folk song – polka. The lyrics are as follows:

    Haj husičky, haj, cez zelený háj, haj husičky chocholaté,
    máte všetky pierka zlaté haj husičky haj, cez zelený háj.
    Haj husičky, haj, pod zelený háj, haj husičky pekné zlaté,
    zostala mi čižma v blate, haj husičky haj, cez zelený háj.

    Translation (hard to translate, but anyway):

    Go small goose, go, through the green grove, go small goose with a plume,
    you have all the feathers golden, go small goose, go, through the green grove.
    Go small goose, go, through the green grove, go small goose nice and gold,
    my boot is stuck in the mud, go small goose, go, through the green grove.

    I am sorry, but I couldn’t find better performer of the song than this one:
    but it can give you at least an idea how it sounds.


  3. Lisa Mihalick Beale December 3, 2009 at 4:09 pm #

    Hello! My paternal grandfather’s parents came to America from Vazec, a village near the High Tatras. My son wants to wear a Slovak folk costume (or our best approximation of it) for a school project. I have my great-grandmother’s kroje, but it is for a woman. Do you think it will look right if my son wears the full-sleeved shirt from the kroje, with some khaki pants? From the photos I’ve seen, the men in their village wore black hats and wide leather belts. Do you have any suggestions for what we could use for those pieces of the costume? Any suggestions would be appreciated! Also, my son is supposed to take a Slovak food to share at school. Does anyone know if halushky travels well? (I thought it was supposed to be served immediately.) Thanks for your help! Lisa

    [Reply] replies:

    Lisa :), I don’t think khaki colour is the ideal for Slovak folk costume. But I don’t know what would help, sorry. The halušky tastes best right after the cooking but it can be eaten even later, especially if you pack it that way that no air comes to it (use foil).


  4. helen m December 24, 2009 at 5:02 am #

    Looking for embroidery from Hazin in Humenne in zemplin. colors and what kind of material to use. And a pattern for blouse and skirt from 1910-1940’s. Help! From the southwest of Pennsylvania

    [Reply] replies:

    Hi Helen, have you looked at this website?:


  5. Mark Kirby May 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm #


    I am a music researcher based in London, UK. I am trying to find out some information about the Slovak folk song Tancuj, tancuj! (Dance, dance!)

    I am trying to find out the origins of the song or simply who wrote this song? Is this a very old traditional Slovak song?

    I’m not sure if I am contacting the right people or not but any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Mark Kirby

    [Reply] replies:

    Dear Mark, this song is a very old and traditional Slovak folk song. The author is unknown as it is with many Slovak folk songs.


  6. Mr. Praveen Singh Rathore May 29, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    Dear Sir/Madam

    I am researcher / documentary film maker from Desert of Rajasthan, India. I done hundreds hours of recording of Rajasthan Artists performances. I work five year for cultural institute of desert artists of Rajasthan. Due to local person of desert area and field recording I have good contacts and relation with Desert Folk Artists. As I work with them I know the core of their dance and music. Now I am organizing the dance group of Desert Artists of Rajasthan to other countries.

    The Rajasthan Desert is India’s rich and ancient source of folk music and dance. In Rajasthan the traditional art forms are still strongly upheld and a new generation of young artists is now emerging. The society of Rajasthan, although caste orientated, has a vast treasure of folk arts including, in particular, music based on the system of “Jajmani” which binds patrons and musician families together for generations. The relationship between patron and musician can be traced back at least five hundred years. Music and dance is an integral part of the rich pattern of village traditions, which have developed over the centuries the long desert nights.

    I got your mail and website address on Google search. I had gone through your website. I like the idea of world culture through sharing customs and traditions in the arts of dance and music. As I told you before I work with desert artists and I gained lot of experience and knowledge of desert artists belong from western zone of Rajasthan. I like to inter duce some dances from Rajasthan. For example – Kalbelia (Snake Dancer) are nomadic people, Teratali (Devotional dancer), Chakari dance by Kanjer women, Thali dance by Bhopa, Bhawai and Ghoomar dance are royal dance form of Rajasthan etc. They are other dance form also but these are famous folk dances of Rajasthan, India.

    I like to know can it possible that your organization invite our group of desert artists to perform at your place or in cultural festival. If yes then I would like to know how it can be done and what provisions are there. Our Folk Artist visited to many countries for performance and people like their dance and music. Hope they also get chance to show their skill in dance to your place.

    If you want some more details about the dance forms or have some question please ask freely.

    Me and my Artist are waiting for your reply.
    Warm Regards.

    Praveen Singh Rathore
    Folk Dance and Music Organizer
    (Specialty on folk artists of Rajasthan)
    Mobil No – +91-9352775377
    Email Address –

    [Reply] replies:

    Dear Mr. Praveen Singh Rathore, we are very honoroud that you thought of us to help you organize such an event, Unfortunately, we are not an organization who could take such a responsibility.


  7. rob labryer June 21, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    Hi there,

    I am writing because reconnected with a friend from my school days and we would put on a carpathian rusynyk show under the direction of jerry jumba at the Byz. Catholic grade school I attended.

    my friend Sang a solo about finding a boyfriend with a black mustache. We were tring to find this tune do you know of this folk song

    thank you


    [Reply] replies:

    Hi Rob, I have no idea… is it a Slovak folk song? Do you remember some words?


  8. Geoff Nunney August 23, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Hi all

    I came across your Website by accident but have found it fascinating. I live in the Nitra area. If anyone knows of any events in Nitra or the surrounding villages, please let me know.

    The Website was really informative. As I am a Teacher over here, I would love a good night out. The Costumes were really pretty, and Slovensky people are Super.



    [Reply] replies:

    Dear Geoff, thanks… You can find all the folk events in Nitra district here (use the advanced search):


  9. Solomon September 29, 2010 at 11:41 am #


    We are folk band “Chveneburebi” from Georgia. We’d like to participate in your festival or in any other folk activities of your country and introduce our folk music to your people. We are 7 and we can offer you the Georgian folk concerts with full program, that includes folk songs and dances from all regions of Georgia and some elements of Georgian martial arts.

    For further information you can visit our website:

    If you’re interested in us, please write us either on this email, or on

    Best Regards
    Solomon Gogashvili
    director Folk Ensemble “Chveneburebi”
    Tel: +99593 10-92-28

    [Reply] replies:

    Dear Solomon, unfortunately, we cannot help you in this matter. We are not arranging folk festivals. But I published you comment in case anyone’s interested. Good luck!


  10. Gene Gray October 2, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    Just visited your country. Lovd it.
    Do you know any websites where I might order
    folk music cds?

    [Reply] replies:

    Hi Gene,

    I dont know about any stores offering CDs abroad. But you can download it or listen to it online. Try these pages:


  11. Lucie October 4, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    Hello! I am writing because I would like to know if you know of any resources online where I can learn to dance a traditional Slovakian folk dance. My parents both immigrated from Slovakia to Canada and at my wedding in December, I would like to include some Slovak tradition and dance a traditional SLovak dance. Any information would be greatly appreciated! THank you!


    [Reply] replies:

    Hi Lucie,

    well, I dont know about any online lessons. But check Slovak folk on youtube, there are many exhibits so you can learn from that.


  12. Diane McElwain October 13, 2010 at 11:22 pm #

    My mother sang a song called The Old Faded Rose. Do you know this one?

    [Reply] replies:

    Hi Dianka, I am sorry, but I have no clue. Do you remember how it sounded phonetically?


  13. Ron Comeau December 31, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    I am looking for the 17inch high black boot worn in Slovakian dances. I need a 10.5 EE size men’s boot. Please tell me where I can order such in Slovakia? R C

    [Reply] replies:

    Try here:


  14. Alica April 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Does anyone have a website that shows the steps?

    [Reply] replies:

    Unfortunately, we are not aware of a website with steps.


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