Slovenia: day of culture and tasty delicacies
Holiday. Prešeren Day, the Slovene Cultural Holiday.
When? On February 8.
The meaning and history. This public holiday marks the anniversary of the death of the Slovene national poet France Prešeren, a greatest Slovene classical author. France Prešeren (1800-1849) wrote some high quality epic poetry and after his death became the leading name of the Slovene literary canon. “Zdravljica”, his famous poem, is a national Slovene song.
In 1945 it was established to celebrate on 8 February the Day of Slovene culture. In 1991 this date was declared as a work-free day.
How it is celebrated. Prešeren Day is one of the most popular Slovene holidays. All Slovenes included Carinthian Slovenes and the Slovenes in Italy celebrate it. Different cultural festivals and events take place in Slovenia on this day. On the eve of the holiday, on February 7, the Prešeren Awards and the Prešeren Fund Awards, the highest Slovenian prizes for cultural achievements, are conferred.
Before it became a work-free day in 1991, schoolchildren traditionally visited with excursions museums, theatres and other culturally significant institutions. Now every family decides themselves how to celebrate the Day of Culture: some people travel, others have a good rest at home and see Slovene films, read Slovene books or do something interesting with their children.
Slovene culture in Villach. If you walk down the Hauptplatz and turn left near Thalia, you will see a small cosy shop named “Bleder Cremeschnitten”. Mojca Konobelj from Slovenia sells sweet and salty Slovene delicacies here.
She lives near the beautiful Slovene town Bled and travels to Carinthia three times a week to open this shop for the clients. “It’s not far from Villach, my way takes near one hour. I really love Austria and I am happy to propose Austrian people and tourists our best culinary things. I am confident that we discover the culture of another country through its cuisine too”, she says.
If you want to “taste” Slovene culture, Mojca advices to try a cremeschnitte, a famous vanilla and custard cream cake dessert. It ranks a top-place among Slovene culinary delights. In Slovenia, a cremeschnitte is commonly associated with Bled, because the recipe of cake was brought in 1953 by Ištvan Kovačevič in this town.
Mojca fluently speaks German, English and Slovenian. She would be glad to tell her guests about the fabulous beauty of Lake Bled, the magic of Triglav national park, culinary and cultural traditions of her country. Over a cup of coffee with tasty salty baking time is running fast. On this Monday, February, 8th, Mojca invites everyone who is interested in Slovene culture to visit a Slovene shop on Lederergasse, 6, 9500 Villach. It’s open from Monday till Saturday. (Research and text Vita Vitrenko)