Salamander Days in Banská Štiavnica is held, every year, in the weekend of the second week of September (Thursday, Friday and Saturday).
This old mine city is located in center Slovakia. Due to its preserved Middle-Ages houses and streets, its ancient center was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Salamander Days Festival is dedicated to the tradition and folklore culture of the mines and miners. The events bring together miners with geologists, blacksmiths and oil drillers from all over the country.
Thousands of people, local and tourists pour into towns and the demand for accommodation is higher than usual, therefore it is advisable to check hotel prices and make reservations ahead of time.
Part of the festival which is held for three days, is a traditional fair – Štiavnické trhy with street events that present the life of the miners side by side with exhibitions that reflect the way of life of the miners’ families.
The festival reaches its climax on Friday after dark, in a salamander parade.
The leader of the parade is a person who was chosen to be the chief shepherd. He carries a giant salamander made of wood as a symbol to the “ancient origin” of the miners.
After the shepherd, appear dwarf figures that, according to folklore legend, are the dwarfs who lives in the mines.
Students from the local university dressed in old miners’ cloths and carry various mines flags join the parade.
The parade in accompanied by mines’ music where the candle lights and the mines’ lamps which are carries by the marchers add beauty to this unique parade.