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II. YEAR OF FOLKLORE CELEBRATIONS UNDER KRÁĽOVÁ HOĽA

LIPTOVSKÁ TEPLIČKA 1997

Liptovská Teplička is located on the North side of Low Tatra Mountains between Poprad and Liptovský Hrádok, 13 kilometers South of Štrba in the oasis of calm. What's most interesting about this village is that the language the villagers speak is Goral that is most common on the East and West sides of High Tatrta Mountains in villages close to the Polish border. Another village with same language is Liptovská Lužna located also in the Low Tatra mountains, however 80 kilometers West, also on the North side of Low Tatra Mountains 20 kilometers Southeast of Ružomberok and this is even further from the Polish border.

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Few years ago the villagers had an idea how to put the village on the map, since the location is somehow off the main road, but with beautiful scenery, and no industry to pollute the air. Mainly the people are farmers and workers in the forests that surround Liptovska Teplicka on all sides. This village is truly beautiful and so are its people, their most important resource. Everyone got involved in the festival and you can feel the happiness in the air and on everyone's faces. The festival's grounds or the amphitheater are located above the village right under the Mount KRÁĽOVÁ Hoľa, a mountain very closely connected to the Slovak nation and their struggle for independence and recognition and sung about and written about endlessly. Surrounding the grounds are underground storage cellars and wooden hay storage sheds for the whole village.

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This was the festival's second year and to tell you the truth I didn't know about it until few weeks ago when I made my usual stop in Važec, close by to say hello to my friends, Dr. Kapasny's family. You see Dr. Kapasný is involved in the Važec folklore for many years and his son, Miroslav whom I met at Expo 86 in Vancouver used to dance for Lúčnica and now leads folkdance group Technik in Bratislava. They were working on their log house in the village and they told me about the festival. I had a plan to go to Terchová that weekend and decided to go instead to Liptovska Teplicka for a day and then continue on Sunday to Terchová and their 35 year of Jánošík's days of folklore.

Soon after the program started I had changed my mind as I loved everything what I've seen and most of all it was the people. Realizing how hard the life must be in this village, cut off from everything, high in the mountains and local employment at the minimum level and still everyone was smiling and you can see their pride in their eyes. The weather wasn't the greatest as it was raining a little but the rain didn't discourage anyone so much as to give them a reason to leave. The stage of the amphitheater is probably the only covered outdoors-wooden stage in Slovakia.

The main programs started in the afternoon and continued nonstop almost till midnight. A party till the morning followed it.

First performers were the home group Tepličan, followed by the group from Batizovce, Važec and Lipovian-Southern Moravia from Czech republic. This was followed by a folk play: "Pacho sa vracia" (Pacho is returning) by a amateur theater group from Hubová a village near Ruzomberok and close to Lubochňa. All the actors and actresses were great and the whole performance was truly enjoyable.

The pearl of the programs each day was the raffle as every ticket was entered in it. From ten prizes ranging from flowers, cement, lime, coal, gravel, tires, baked goods, cash, holidays etc., the top prize each day was a microwave. All prizes were donated by their sponsors and the microwaves by the village.

I stayed in brand new Pension Dolinka, made to world hotel standards, perfect in every way, and located above southern end the village right under the winter skiing area next to the ski tows. All together four ski slopes are available throughout the winter season because of extremely good conditions. In summer you can take hiking tours throughout the Low Tatra Mountains ranges, pick healing herbs in the highland meadows, go mushroom picking, pick raspberries, bill berries go fishing in the creeks, etc.

Dolinka offers seven rooms with meal service if desired. You can also arrange horseback riding, carriage or sleigh rides, bus sightseeing tours, a visit to the salaš, tasting sheep's cheese and žinčica, barbecues. The clean and crisp air will help to improve everyone's health especially people suffering from respiratory problems. You can contact Pension Dolinka at 059 40 Liptovská Teplička, Phone: 011-421-52-983 02 or 011-421-52-983 03, Fax: 011-421-92-983 03.

Sunday started at 9 AM with open air Roman Catholic Holy mass celebrated with three priests, and the amphitheater filled to the last seat with many villagers standing on the sides and high above behind. Beautiful songs interpreted by one of Slovakia's greatest folk singers Monika Kandráčová, her husband and their two sons accompanied the mass.

Early afternoon there was a procession of all participating groups through the village with shots of their programs performed at many stops. Almost every house in the center of the village had folk displays in their windows. Many courtyards had displays from the past professions of the villagers as wood carvings, spoon making, making flax threads, displaying and offering to taste baked goods, you could even taste freshly made sheep cheese and žinčica. It was great. The weather was beautiful, just perfect setting.

This was followed by another afternoon and evening nonstop program of truly outstanding folklore by children's folk dance groups: Turnička-Liptovská Teplička, Štrbianček-Štrba, Malý Kriváň-Východná. Adult groups followed children: Tepličan-Liptovská Teplička, Kriváň-Východná, Monika Kandráčová and family, folkdance group Pohorelá-Pohorelá, Krigovský and family-Poprad, Čačina-Spišská Nová Ves, Lipovian-Southern Moravia from Czech republic. After the raffle at 8:00 PM there was a performance by one of the best singers of Upper Hron region folk songs, Ján Ambróz. He is so well known, everybody knows his songs. With his help the songs of Upper Hron Region are sung everywhere in Slovakia and abroad. Everyone in the amphitheater including me was singing along throughout the concert. That was great, very powerful, and touching. He sung what the people ordered by screaming their wishes. He sung the best and my favorite songs: Na Telgárte hrajú, Prepelička, Hej, Hop, Hop, Hop, Počkaj ma šuhajko na Telgártskom Moste, just to mention a few. The festival ended after 10:00 PM after about third attempt to have the final song. The audience just didn't want to let Ján Ambróz go, as we all like him very much. It is very uncommon to end the Sunday program this late as most Sunday's programs at festivals in Slovakia end by 5:00 PM.

I must congratulate the organizing committee of the festival and the mayor of the village Jozef Mezovský for putting on a fantastic folk festival and wish them all the best for the third year, the first week in August to which I will return.

For more information about the festival and this beautiful and many times forgotten part of Slovakia please contact the mayor of the village:

Obecný úrad Liptovská Teplička
Jozef Mezovský-Starosta
059 40 Liptovská Teplička
Slovakia

011-421-52-7798132
011-421-52-7798125 home

Email: [email protected]

GO TO LIPTOVSKÁ TEPLIČKA SPRING 2003

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SEE LIPTOVSKÁ TEPLIČKA WINTER 2001

SEE LIPTOVSKÁ TEPLIČKA FALL 2002

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Published in the Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 5, No. 3, Fall 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.