The National Holidays Calendar is undoubtedly essential for every citizen of a country. People cannot work 8 hours per day, 5 days a week. We need diversity even regarding the process of taking a rest. Moreover, national days off do this job very well, reminding people about their culture, history, and national identity.
Slovenian National Calendar is organized taking into consideration all the most important historical and religious days. It represents the cultural identity of Slovenians as well as reminds people about their roots.
For us, National Holidays are more critical in terms of planning travels or journeys. It’s a possibility not only to spend 1-2 days more in the country of destination but to get closer to understanding the culture and people as well.
Let’s take a brief look at the holidays’ list of 2020 and consider them in some details after:
|New Year’s Day
|New Year holiday
|Day of Uprising Against Occupation
|Labor Day / May Day
|Labour Day holiday
|Assumption of Mary
|Independence and Unity Day
Prešeren Day or Day of Slovenian Culture
The day started to be celebrated in 1945, but the event on the honor of which is created the holiday had happened in 1849. That was the day of the death of Slovenian national poet, France Prešeren. The holiday was established for the purpose of raising the Slovenian national consciousness and self-confidence.
In 1991, Prešeren Day was recognized as a work-free day by the government. Since then, it has become even more valued. During it, all municipal museums and galleries are free to visit. On the eve of the holiday, February 7, it happens the Prešeren Awards and the Prešeren Fund Awards, a ceremony for the highest achievements in the field of culture.
As usual, it consists of Easter Sunday and Monday. Slovenians celebrate Easter similarly to other Christians but with their own uniqueness. Of course, it is vital at least to try to follow the 40-days fasting. Initially, it is believed not to eat meat during it, but nowadays, it has transformed into getting rid of bad habits (moreover, Slovenian meals usually include meat).
During the holiday itself, traditional food is eggs, ham, horseradish, and potica. A family gathers in order to have dinner, and children are used to playing unique holiday games crushing painted eggs. The winner is the one whose egg lasts for the longest time without any damage.
Day of Uprising Against Occupation
Also known as Resistance Day, it is celebrated in honor of the establishment of the Slovenian Liberation Front in 1941. The day is highly connected with history. The establishment of the front was done in response to Nazi Germany attack in 1941. The Liberation Front became an army against the fascist regimes. It has been officially celebrated since Slovenia’s independence in 1991.
Labor Day / May Day
This holiday began to be celebrated in 1890. The day was emphasized in order to value work as a process and workers as valued people. Moreover, it had a strong political connection at that time. Slovenians are used to light bonfires on this day. The two biggest ones are usually set in Rožnik Hill in Ljubljana or in Ruše near Maribor. You can create the real adventure if to take the aim to climb on a big hill and watch all the bonfires in surrounding areas. This happens on the 30th of April. Almost all the Slovenian villages take part in this activity.
Always on Sunday, fifty days after the Easter
One more Cristian holiday that is called Pentecost. It commemorated when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be with the Lord. Also, it is believed that Pentecost is the birthday of the Cristian faith. If you are Cristian, it is a nice day to visit some unique Slovenian church.
This celebration is due to Slovenia’s gaining independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. The last one was the big federative state located in the Balkan region. This day is considered as one of the most valuable in Slovenian history.
Moreover, during this day, it is held Jurjevanje Folklore Festival. This means that you can enjoy traditional entertainment, music, songs, dance, and foods if you are lucky enough to be there on time.
Assumption of Mary
This day commemorations Mary’s ascension into heaven. Traditionally Roman Catholics believe that the Virgin mother of Jesus never physically died but ascended into heaven.
This would be a perfect day to get acquainted better with how Slovenians celebrate the Cristian holiday because you can experience the most significant masses in Slovenian churches. Sometimes, it happens some unique and exciting activity. For example, in 2013, Slovenian Christians transported a painting of the Virgin Mary from one city to another, blessing it by different bishops. It was the sign of the fact that Slovenian Christians are unified and have one religion.
Reformation Day and Remembrance Day
This day is celebrated in memory of Europe’s religious reformation by Martin Luther. He posted his 95 theses on the Wittenberg Castle Church door in Germany. After that, the transformation happened.
All Saints’ Day is also known as the Remembrance Day.
One more religious celebration. During this day, it is common to visit family members on the graveyards. Visitors usually take flowers and candles to the tombs. The government regularly organizes official ceremonies where officials give speeches. The most significant ceremony takes place at the monument to the victims of all wars on the Congress Square in Ljubljana. All the top leaders of the country, including the president and the prime minister.
With the big part of the world, Slovenia celebrates Christmas on December 25. In the capital city, it is organized the big Christmas market, where you can find arts and crafts, baked goods, and gifts. Slovenian Santa Claus is called Grandfather Frost. Moreover, Slovenian children have the traditions to get on Saint Nicholas Day (December 6) as well.
Slovenians bake special Christmas bread. According to the tradition, a whole family eats the first loaf of it on the Christsmas, the second – on the New Year’s Eve, and the third one – on the Three Wise Men’ celebration (January 6). Another popular treat is potica. It is a round cake with different fillings such as walnuts, nuts, cocoa, bananas, coconut, etc.
Independence and Unity Day
This day commemorates the official proclamation of the Slovenian independence on December 26, 1990, after the referendum. It should not be confused with Slovenia’s Statehood Day, which is celebrated on the 25th of June. This one commemorates the declaration of Slovenian independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Therefore, Slovenes have two independence days. The day is celebrated with a national ceremony with speeches, musical programs, and readings of literature or poetry. The largest celebration is located at Republic Square in Ljubljana. Slovenians do like to watch and perform folk dances and music during it.
New Year’s Holidays
The icing on the cake: New Year. It is the day of the ending of the past as well as the beginning of the new time. This holiday does not need its introduction. The biggest celebration is located in the Old Town of Ljubljana. Usually, it is crowded a lot, but it’s worth it because people are waiting for fireworks launched from the Ljubljana Castle Hill. Another unique place is Lake Bled, that is picturesque by itself, but Christmas decorations make it and the town even more atmospheric.
It’s Always Time to Celebrate!
People like celebrations. They are uniting. When we not only work for a common purpose but also celebrate because of common reasons, it connects each other. That is why some holidays are so important even at the national level. It is a way to remember history, understand national identity, or reflect on some religious morality. The good government is that one who chooses those days wisely.
For us, it is important to know that the Slovenian holidays can be divided into several groups like religious, historical, or worldwide ones. If you are a tourist and are choosing a day to visit Slovenia and take as much experience as you can, you should think about what you want to get. For example, either to understand the Slovenian religious approach, or to feel Slovenian national identity, or to find out differences between ways in celebrating a holiday you already knew about.
Therefore, there is no clear recipe for how to visit Slovenia. Of course, the best way would be to have an opportunity to experience all the national holidays. However, as it is less realistic, we would propose you visit Slovenia at once. And we promise, after the first impression, you would like to find the opportunity to revisit it.
Or even settle down, who knows…