IV. INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF
By: Maria Rybarova
Everybody who likes
ghosts, witches and also fun, came to Bojnice where IV. International
festival of ghosts and witches took place the last week of April.
This year I
personally took part in this festival as a Chinese slave. I hope that my
participation helps me to write this story more interesting.
The festival started
on April 25 and continued until May 4. It was opened with two hour long
parade of ghosts across Bojnice. The streets were full of people and
children. This year’s festival was in the sign of Ancient Orient. The
main figure was an Italian traveler from medieval times: Marco Polo. At
the very beginning he had to rescue the beautiful Chinese slave Kogatin-Lotus
flower from slavery. Afterward both of them showed the castle full of
ghosts and witches to the visitors. In the first room Marco Polo had read
through the message from Chinese Sultan Kublaj to Matus Cak Trenciansky.
In the next room the ghosts of the Palfy family's family told the
history of their family. The count Jan Palfy was the last aristocratic
owner of the Bojnice's castle. In the dining room the visitors could
taste delicious tea and also they had to rescue the princes from prison of
two ugly witches. A brave visitor had to find a "snake’s eye"
in the vase full of strange things.
Really big attraction
was the youngest girl-fakir in Europe. She is only five years old. She
lied down on needle bed in front of the visitors.
On the second floor
of the castle we met the horrible ghosts of the Chinese town Fengdu. I can
tell you that the visitors were screaming in fear all the time. I am sure
that everyone is familiar with the princess Sherezad, who was telling
stories to the sultan Sulejman. She told him 1001 stories, because she
wanted to save her life. Belly dancers were also in the room. Third floor
was full of ghosts and dead soldiers, who were buried with their sultan,
because they had to serve him also after his death. On the top floor Marco
Polo said the sad story about the Black lady, who jumped from the
castle’s tower to prove her innocence. She didn’t die, but she went to
heaven. Lots of ghosts and ugly creatures were also in the castle’s
tower. The yelling of children and even adults could persuade us about it.
The next stop was Palfy's
tomb. There, in a big marble sarcophagus count Ján Palfy is buried. He
died in 1908. Some time ago some mysterious liquid was flowing out from
the sarcophagus. They called it: "the tears of Jan Palfy." The
people thought that he tried to show his sadness, because his last will
was broken. In his last will he wrote that all his possessions that are in
the castle must stay there. However his grasping descendants sold
everything in foreign countries. Finally in 1938 they sold the castle too.
In 1950 there was a fire at the castle and the castle’s towers were
destroyed. After a big reconstruction the castle was reopened as a museum.
The mysterious black liquid has stop flowing of the sarcophagus. It is
said that it did stop when the famous and very well known Bojnice's
Altar was returned to castle after many years from Prague.
The last stop was a
natural cave under the castle. A magic compass was placed here showing the
visitors their destiny. At the end of the Marco Polo and Kogain thanked
the visitors for their visit.
The castle was open
also at night and audiovisual program called Lux in Tenebris, showing the
history of the castle was shown. There were thousands of visitors at the
festival. Even the rainy weather didn't have affect on the attendance.
If you like fairy
tails, ghosts and witches and you like to be scared please come next year
to Bojnice to the V. International festival of ghosts and witches. The
ghosts will be very pleased to see you in Bojnice.
972 01 Bojnice
photographs are for sale
BACK TO FOLKLORE FESTIVALS
Published in the
Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 5, No. 2, Summer 1997
Copyright © Vladimir Linder 1997
3804 Yale Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6
The above article and photographs may not be copied, reproduced,
republished, or redistributed by any means including electronic, without
the express written permission of Vladimir
Linder. All rights reserved.