Ribnica Woodenware and Pottery Fair
In Ribnica, one of Slovenia's most famous fairs is dedicated to this tradition: the Ribnica Woodenware and Pottery Fair, which is considered a veritable local holiday.
The Municipality of Ribnica, which has approximately 10,000 inhabitants, is best-known for its centuries-old woodenware and pottery tradition.
The local handicrafts date back to the 15th century, when a series of poor harvests, constant pressure from the Ottomans, peasant revolts and the like forced the then Austrian Emperor Frederick III to issue the so-called Peddler’s Patent. This special privilege allowed people from the Ribnica-Kočevje area to trade in local products without paying taxes.
Thus, woodenware handcrafted by the people from the Ribnica Valley started to be sold in different parts of the empire. In local parlance woodenware products are called ‘suha roba’, i.e. ‘dry goods’.
The very first fairs were held as early as the 16th century, when the inhabitants of Ribnica had a special imperial permission to hold weekly fairs as a special privilege granted to the market town. These fairs were especially lively at the time of parish blessings and horse blessing on St. Stephen’s Day. The local people even set up their own fairground, the so-called Kavmav (Kaufmauer). Over the centuries, the fairs were relocated to Sodražica and back to Ribnica. Since 1975, however, the Ribnica Woodenware and Pottery Fairs have been held in Ribnica on an annual basis.
Since the very start, the fair has been organised every first Sunday in September, when Ribnica’s main square boasts around 400 stalls! The main organiser of the fair – one of Slovenia’s largest tourist and ethnological events – is the Ribnica Tourism Society, which brings together numerous individuals, Ribnica-based societies, associations and many artisans. For a day, Ribnica turns into a veritable handicraft shop, where you meet and see artisans at work, and can also ask them any question you like.
In honour of handicrafts, the fair also features a Handicraft Festival, where all other Slovenian artisans, holders of the ‘Art & Craft Slovenija’ quality label, can present themselves and their products. This is a perfect opportunity to buy some top-quality arts and crafts products.
Come and visit the Ribnica Fair – an experience you will surely remember for years to come.
VISIT THE RIBNICA FAIR
The Ribnica Fair is an all-day event and is held on the first Sunday in September.
For more information contact the
Ribnica Tourist Society / TD Ribnica, Gallusovo nabrežje 10, 1310 Ribnica
M: +386 (0)41 778 151 | T: +386 (0)1 8360 689
Office hours: Mon–Fri: 10:00–11:00
What can you experience on the Ribnica Fair Day
On this day, visitors are welcome to visit all museum exhibitions, the Ribnica Handicraft Centre, the Parish Church of St. Stephen and all shops.
There are also a number of other events organised on this day. Two that are especially interesting, giving the Fair Day a special charm and a playful nature, are the contest for the Queen of Woodenware and the Woodenware Games. When it comes to the latter, four teams from neighbouring villages compete in woodenware-making skills and knowledge. As for the former, as expected, only members of the fairer sex can compete for the Queen of Woodenware title – to win it, the participants need to be well knowledgeable about the woodenware and familiar with woodenware making and selling.
At the Fair, you can also learn all about the ‘Ribn’čan’, an indigenous bean variety. You can sample all sorts of bean dishes, including the bean cake. We guarantee you won’t regret it!
Come and visit Ribnica, the place where the pack-peddlers are from – a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience the local tradition.