Easter is the greatest and most important Christian holiday with many different traditions and rituals that are still kept alive. Interestingly, many of them have pagan roots and various symbols actually come from paganism and are related to the celebration of the beginning of spring. Easter time begins with well-known 40-days fasting period which not many people follow strictly, but the first and the last day are a must (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday). Most of the people do fast and not eat any meat on these days, which is actually difficult to obtain, since meat is part of almost every meal in Slovenia. In the fasting period many try to ditch some bad habits, a known initiative suggests people to give up alcohol for 40 days.
After the Lent, on Easter Saturday, some make the traditional Easter basket and take the food to church to be blessed. This Traditional Slovenian Easter food that includes eggs, ham, horseradish and potica is then brought to the table on Easter Sunday, when the whole family gathers together. Kids like to play a funny game, crashing each other’s Easter eggs, competing whose will last longer, not getting damaged. Later they go and search for hidden eggs and presents in the yard.
An interesting festivity is happening already a week before the Easter Sunday. People plait the bundles from greenery picked in the garden, adding some colorful decorations or fruit, such as oranges. Some rather buy the bundles at flower markets and on Palm Sunday, the bundles of different sizes and shapes are taken to church to be blessed. Now the festive bundles are associated with Christianity but have also pagan roots and have once symbolized fertility.
Celebration of Easter can be also heard – the bell-ringers (“pritrkovalci”) climb the bell towers and create unique melodies. A bit louder festivity is shooting with small cannons, producing loud noises. Often, they are even competing, who can produce a louder bang.
Maybe you’ve heard about some of these traditions before, since they are known in many countries where Easter is celebrated. If not, but you want to learn more about Slovenian traditions, you must visit Easter egg exhibitions that take place in Lendava and Veržej.
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