Slovenians are expected to flock to cultural events on Wednesday as the country observes Culture Day, a bank holiday marking the death anniversary of Romantic poet France Prešeren (1800-1849).
Many cultural institutions will open their doors to visitors admission free and cultural ceremonies and events will be held throughout the country, many involving the reading of Prešeren’s poetry.
The day is an occasion for reflection on Prešeren as a poet and historic figure and on the meaning of culture and language for the nation and the country.
On the eve of the holiday, the prizes bearing the poet’s name are handed out for artistic achievements. This year, the main winners were painter Metka Krašovec and translator Aleš Berger.
The biggest crowds today are expected to gather for a ceremony outside the poet’s birth house in the north-western village of Vrba and for the reading of his poetry at his monument in the centre of Ljubljana.
In the north-western city of Kranj, where Prešeren served as a lawyer and died, a traditional fair will transport the visitors back to his time.
Culture Minister Tone Peršak will lay a wreath at the poet’s grave in Kranj, and host a reception at Brdo estate for the two Prešeren Prize winners and six recipients of the Prešeren Fund Prizes.
Before that, the winners will join President Borut Pahor at the Presidential Palace as he addresses visitors on open house day.
Culture Day is also being celebrated among the Slovenian communities in neighbouring countries and expat communities around the world.
8 February was designated as Culture Day in 1945 and has been observed as a work-free day since 1991./IBNA
Source: The Slovenia Times