Traditions/legends

Slovenian traditions are many and varied, since they are influenced by the country's cultural and natural diversity. 

One of the most important traditions in Slovenia is related to Carnival. The strange figure colorized in red is called Kurent and is a mythical pagan creture who, according to the people's belief, chases Winter away and welcomes Spring. Nowadays no-one believes in the Kurent's power anymore, but the tradition is more alive than ever. 

The large majority of the Slovenes are catholic and, of course, celebrate Easter. On Palm Sunday the Slovenes take olive branches to church in order to have them blessed by the priest, and bells don't ring from Good Friday to Easter Sunday morning.On Easter Saturday the family puts some goods in a wooden basket (the contents of the basket are not always the same, but eggs and cake are always among them) and takes it to the church to be blessed too. On Easter Sunday, after the morning mass, the blessed food is eaten. A very particular custom in Slovenia is painting eggs or decorating them (with wax, small engravings, etc.) in order to offer them to family and friends.
The Winter celebrations begin with St. Nicholas Day on December 6th. St.Nicholas is accompanied by devils that reprimand bad children. St. Nicholas passes out small gifts of candies and fruit to the good children. On Christmas Eve the family gathers around the Nativity scene to pray. Each room of the house is blessed with Holy Water and the barns and the out buildings are also blessed. The family attends midnight mass along with other villagers they process to the church carrying lighted torches singing Christmas carols. The Festival of the Three Kings marks the end of the Christmas season.

                                           

 

More information on festive events in December 2008:
 

Easter traditions [on-line] © Slovenia.si. Your gateaway to information on Slovenia [3.12.2008] at

 http://www.slovenia.si/spotlights/200803/2008031811455200

Source: Traditions and special features of Slovenia [on-line] © F15.05.2009]:

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Christmas in Slovenia [on-line] © Republic of Slovenia.[15.05.2009]:

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