Events Organised by the City
The traditional Carnival, which begins the day after Three Kings Day and culminates on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, used to be celebrated in towns and cities. The celebrations in towns and cities took on a specific form. In the past, carnival celebrations were largely organised by various craft guilds, societies and associations, which organised parades in masks, tournaments and dancing events. Later, the celebration of carnival in towns was mainly associated with the organisation of balls.
In 2023, the city has decided to continue the traditions of the past and to display the multicultural dimension of the city through the involvement of different groups and communities. The Bratislava Carnival ↗︎ event is organised and dramaturgically covered by the Bratislava Cultural and Information Centre ↗︎.
The awarding of the most prominent award of the city to those of its residents who have made an exceptional contribution to the good and well-being of Bratislava in their field, through their actions and ideas. The candidates are selected by the Mayor based on suggestions from the citizens. The nominations represent traditional Bratislava professions and, in particular, those that often do not receive wider attention. The Mayor's Award is organised by the Bratislava Cultural and Information Centre ↗︎ in association with the city.
Bratislava City Days
The tradition of opening the city gates to its residents and visitors on St George's Day is linked to the history of our city. According to the city privileges, from the 13th century onwards, the townspeople of Pressburg could freely elect a town mayor and their representatives on the 24th of April. This municipal privilege, unique in Europe at that time, was associated with celebrations and informal meetings between the representatives of the town hall and the residents of the royal city. Since 2003, Bratislava has been inspired by the city's tradition and regularly holds a city-wide event Bratislava City Days ↗, formerly entitled Bratislava for All, around 24 April.
The weekend filled with experiences is launched each year with the symbolic unsealing of the gates with a historical procession attended by the mayor, continues with the opening of the Primate's Palace to the public, the opening of the premises of the city's organisations, which present their work and activities, and also offer a rich cultural programme. The city districts also participate in the weekend event with their own programmes, and visitors throughout Bratislava can look forward to a rich cultural programme every year. Bratislava City Days are organised by the Bratislava Cultural and Information Centre ↗︎ in association with city cultural organisations, city enterprises, city districts and dozens of stakeholders of Bratislava's non-established cultural scene.
Bratislava Cultural Summer
Bratislava Cultural Summer ↗︎, the largest and oldest city festival, is an integral part of Bratislava's summer, held from June to September and it aims to present Bratislava as a modern city that is vibrant with culture. The multi-genre programme appeals to all ages and encourages visitors to explore the city. The programme is organised both in the historic centre and in less usual places, newly discovered public spaces and in the city districts. The Bratislava Cultural Summer festival has for years included the Summer Gala of the Slovak National Theatre, the International Guitar Festival of J. K. Mertz, Viva Musica!, the Cathedral Organ Festival and the Shakespeare Summer Festival.
Young Wine Festival
Bratislava continues its long tradition of presenting and tasting young wine, building on the St Martin's Days held in the past. St Martin's Day has always been associated with the wine tradition since the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. On 11 November, the first wines of this year's harvest are broached not only in Slovakia, but also in the neighbouring Czech Republic and Austria. According to tradition, the wine from that year's harvest is to be blessed by a church official. The city would like to reinforce the historical awareness of the city's traditions among the people of Bratislava and to present the work of local winemakers and their harvests by way of this festival. The history of viticulture and winemaking in the Bratislava region dates back almost 3,000 years; for many centuries it was the most important wine-growing region in Slovakia. In the 16th to 18th centuries, Bratislava had the largest area of vineyards and was the largest wine producer in Slovakia.
The city hits the Christmas spirit four weeks before Christmas. The Christmas tree will be lit in the square and the gates of the Christmas Main Market will be opened. Every year, you can enjoy a wide range of delicious food and drinks, buy gifts for your loved ones and choose from a wide range of products from sheltered workshops and non-profit organisations.
A Christmas forest will grow in the city. Children from Bratislava's primary, art and special schools decorate the trees with their own original decorations. The Bratislava Christmas wants to make the Advent season in the city more pleasant and offer an experience of a magical festive atmosphere that thinks of all groups of our city's residents. Advent concerts, children's programmes, charity collections and many other events are held every year throughout Bratislava thanks to the involvement of the city's organisations. Bratislava Christmas ↗︎ is from 2022 technically, dramaturgically and organisationally covered by the Bratislava Cultural and Information Centre ↗︎.