Slovenian festivities are marked by their strong religious tradition of Christianity. Therefore, in addition to Christmas, the whole country also celebrates Holy Week, as well as certain festivals dedicated to Saints. The most important in the country are Saint Martín and Saint Nicolás. However, Slovenia also has pagan traditions such as Carnival, with Ptuj being one of the best known. Its capital, Ljubljana, boasts some of the most prestigious music festivals. Also, other places such as Maribor or Brežice organize important cultural celebrations that make them stand out in the calendar of events in the country.
Slovenia is a Christian country, so the whole country comes together to celebrate Holy Week. The best place to enjoy it is in Skofja Loka, a small town where there are different shows that recreate the Passion of Christ, and the last moments of his life. It is such an important recreation in Slovenia that many thousands journey to Skofja Loka to watch. On Easter Sunday, the town of Bela Krajina, famous for its intricate street decorations, displays wonderful designs for the public to enjoy.
With more than 20 years of tradition, the Lent Festival, celebrated in Maribor, is one of the most important in Slovenia and the largest in Europe. It organizes activities and shows of classical, traditional and jazz music; there is also theatre, puppet shows, workshops for children, exhibitions and sporting events. In recent years the Sladolent has been incorporated, a culinary demonstration of some of the best chefs in the country who come to promote their restaurants.
Organized since 1960, this festival is considered the oldest in Europe in the jazz category. It is celebrated in the capital of the country, in Ljubljana, where every year the best jazz musicians perform nationally and internationally.
It is one of the biggest festivals in Slovenia that pays homage to France Prešeren, Slovenia’s most illustrious poet. Although cultural activities are organized throughout the country, his hometown of Vrba is a good place to celebrate the anniversary of his death. During this day different prizes of the Prešeren Foundation are awarded to members of the Slovenian artistic sector.
Despite its religious name, the festival of Saint Martin originates from pagan traditions. During the festival, the harvest is celebrated, with a focus on the grape harvest, which is of great significance to the wine producing regions. Throughout the day the Slovenians enjoy traditional food, usually duck or goose dishes, accompanied by a glass of good Slovenian wine.
Saint Nicholas is the Christmas saint equivalent to Santa Claus in other European countries. In Slovenia, on December 6, he performs a parade through the streets of the main cities of the country to greet the children. People dressed as angels and devils also walk from the streets distributing candies and nuts to children.
A historical festival based on the Renaissance and the Baroque, this is one of the most popular festivals in Slovenia for its great participation and originality. It gathers musicians from all parts of the continent to recreate the art of the Middle Ages up until the twentieth century. Most of the performances and events take place in the castles of Brežice, in the Slovenska Bistrica and in the Devil's Tower of Soteska.
The carnival of Slovenia enjoys great popularity since it is celebrated in several regions of the country and on different dates. One of the most famous is the Carnival of Ptuj, which has been held since 1960 and is one of the oldest in the country. People dress up as different carnival figures and join in the parades and celebrations.