by Slavka

Slovakia is a small country in Central Europe with stunning folklore that surpasses its borders. All Slovaks are extremely proud of their homeland’s rich folk traditions and culture. If you have never heard of it, Slovak folklore has the same blood-boiling vibe as Spain’s’ flamenco, all Latin American dances, Irish tap dance or Russian folklore.

The music, songs, and dances are dynamic, fun and very entertaining. Traditional Slovak music will speed up your blood flow, kick you off your chair and ignite your desire to dance. Just watch a folk dance group perform, it’ll leave you speechless.

Traditional Slovak folklore costumes, called ‘kroj (pronounced as ‘kroy’) in Slovak, have rich colours, intricate details with abundant embroidery, ribbons and lace. The music is cheerful, full of slow and fast rhythms and is accompanied by beautiful singing voices.


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Fujara  – The Queen of Flutes

Slovakia is home to unique musical instruments called ‘fujara’ and ‘cimbal’. Fujara (pronounced as fuyara) is the most typical Slovak musical instrument there is. Essentially, it’s a very long (160 to 200 cm) wooden flute with a peculiar, dreamy sound.

Technically speaking, the fujara is a contrabass in the tabor pipe class. It’s a sophisticated, overtone fipple flute of distinctive design. Fujara was traditionally made and played by folk shepherds who played it either solo or in duos and trios. The traditional instrument is always covered in rich carved ornaments.

Did you know that in 2005, UNESCO included the fujara flute in the list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity? And since 2008, this typical Slovak musical instrument also makes the UNESCO list of Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

You can listen to the sound of the fujara flute here, here and here.

Fujara traditional Slovak musical instrument

Fujara flute – the most traditional Slovak musical instrument listed on two UNESCO lists



Cimbal (pronounced as tzimbal) is a large string instrument in the form of a table with strings stretched across its top. It’s typical for Central and Eastern European folk music. Cimbal is quite rare and not many people can play it.

You can listen to the best Slovak cimbal player here and here. Another fantastic examples are under this link and here.  And you’ll definitely recognize these famous movie melodies featuring the cimbal.


Slovak Folk Dance

Traditional Slovak dances are very social and fun. There are many variations and dances for soloists, just women, just men, groups and couples. Dances involve high and low jumps, tapping, clapping, stomping, fast turning, tons of swift footwork and quick changes of positions. Slovak folklore dancing is amazing to watch. It’ll leave you wordless and make you want to jump up and join the whirl.

Below is a gallery of 38 photos that I took at the Detva Folklore Festival ( = Folklorne slavnosti pod Polanou v Detve).

Young dancers

Young musicians

Traditions stay alive through younger generations

Young Slovak folklore singers and dancers

Young Slovak folklore singers and dancers

Young Slovak Dance Ensemble

Female Dancers

Traditional summer Slovak folk footwear is called ‘krpce’ . They are moccasin-style leather shoes with thin straps worn on bare feet or with sheep wool socks.

female dancers on stage

Slovak Folklore Dancers

Slovak folklore performers

Female Folklore Dancers in Slovakia

Male Slovak Folklore Singer

Slovak Folklore Choir

Folklore Dancers in Slovakia, Slovak dancers

Slovak Folklore Couple Dances

Couples dancing Slovak Folklore

Female Slovak Folklore Singer

Female folklore Dancers on stage in Detva Slovakia

Detva Folklore Dancers

Male folklore dancers performing

Male Folklore dancers in Slovakia

Detva Folklore Dancers in Slovakia

Detva Dancers



Detva dancer on stage

Couple dances

Male dancers dancing Slovak traditional folk dances

Slovak Folk Dance



Slovakia Folk DanceTraditional Folk in Slovakia


Folk Singers Ensemble

Detva Folklore DancerDetva Folk Dancer

Singers from Puchov


Fujara Pipe Slovak musical instrument

Female Dance Performer

Dance Ensemble

Folklore Dance Troupe


Lúčnica and SĽUK folk dance troupes – the Riverdances of Slovakia

Slovakia has many amazing folk dance groups that keep the folk tradition alive and regularly please Slovaks with their dazzling performances. The most famous of these dance troupes are Lúčnica, SĽUK, and FS Detva.

Lucnica and SLUK have their own video channels. Click to watch excellent samples of their performances:

–> Lúčnica – The Slovak National Folklore Ballet

–> SĽUK – Slovak State Traditional Dance Company

If you travel to Slovakia and would like to see an authentic folklore performance, I suggest you plan your visit for the end of June and beginning of July. During that time, two major folklore festivals take place in Detva and Vychodna. Attending one of these two Slovak folk festivals is a lifetime experience. Actually,  it’s one of the top Slovak experiences you can go through.


–> If you are interested in fascinating cultures and traditions from far away places, check out this article about the Indigenous Pow Wow traditions in Ontario, Canada.


Have you ever been to a Slovak Folklore Festival? Did you like it? Please let me know below in the comments.


–> Read all articles about travel in fun things to do in Slovakia.

Bookmark this gallery:

Slovak Folklore pinFolklore in Slovakia pinTraditional Slovak Folklore

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Jay Artale November 16, 2019 - 00:04

I love seeing traditional dancing troupes, no matter what country I’m in. I love the enthusiasm for keeping this aspect of culture alive. We have a lot of international dance festivals hosted in Turkey, and I never miss an opportunity to watch the dances and see the different costumes.

Lisa Dorenfest November 16, 2019 - 12:32

Your imagery captures the action and color beautifully. I adore finding cultural traditions in my own travels and think I would enjoy a exploring Slovakia. The costumes and energy here are gorgeous.

Andi November 17, 2019 - 19:42

I love learning about the cultural aspects of countries I am not familiar with, it’s my 2nd favorite way of exploring after food! This looks like a fun dance to watch!

Ann November 28, 2019 - 14:50

Oh wow that really looks like an entertaining show 😀

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