Slovenian Cultural Holiday: Feb 8
Cultural Holiday is a public holiday in Slovenia.
The Cultural Holiday in Slovenia is celebrated every 8th of February each year to commemorate the death of the famous Slovenian poet France Prešeren. In Slovenian language, it is called “Prešernov dan, slovenski kulturni praznik” or unofficially, Prešeren Day.
History of Slovenian Cultural Holiday
The Cultural Holiday was established as a national holiday in 1944. Even though it was a public holiday it wasn’t until 1991 that the government considered it as “work-free” where major shops and banks closes as an observance to the national holiday. Many people in Slovenia also consider the poet’s birth date, December 3, as a holiday although the government only recognizes the former as the only duly official holiday dedicated to the great poet.
The Cultural Holiday in Slovenia was brought about by the repression experienced by Slovenian artists during World War II. Artists were one of the targets of various political groups including the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People. The “cultural silence” imposed to all Slovenian artists prevents them from making demonstrations and any forms of cultural and artistic expression during the period of occupation.
France Prešeren is the most celebrated personality in Slovenian arts and culture. His achievements were so distinct that a public holiday was formed to commemorate his deep contribution to the perpetuation of Slovenian history, art, and culture.
Slovenian Cultural Holiday: Traditions, Customs and Activities
Slovenians celebrate this day with cultural events and festivals which encourage the public to remember the contributions of Prešeren in the country’s culture. Schools would normally take students to public national arts center and other related cultural institutions as part of tradition.
The Prešeren Awards is the highest award an artist in Slovenia could ever get. Each year, one or two distinct Slovenian artist receives such award. The Prešeren Foundation Awards has been conferring recognition to talented and exceptional Slovenian artists since 1947 which continues until today.