Saturday, March 12, 2011

St. Gregory's Day - Guest Post - Valentine's Day in Slovenia

Irena from This Miss Loves to Read shares a tradition from her country, Slovenia. I hope you will leave your comments. Thank you. Mary

St Gregory's Day on March 12th is the Slovene version of Valentine's Day on February 14th. Valentine's Day as we know it today is a very recent holiday in Slovenia, but this country has known St Valentine for a long time, only not in relation to romance. According to tradition, St Valentine comes on February 14th to bring keys to all the roots, meaning that nature begins to awaken. In some parts, people even begin to work in the fields on St Valentine's Day.

St Gregory's Day, however, is the day when the birds make merry and prepare to be "wed", as we say. Spring is here and love is in the air. Up until Word War II, people would dress as brides, grooms and wedding guests on this particular day and go from house to house, collecting gifts.

This day was not only about love, however. By this time, days became longer and shoemakers and tailors who depended upon light and had to light candles when darkness fell, could now work by the light of day. They did not need candles - light - anymore, so there came to be a tradition of people putting "light" into water. They made lampoon-like lights and put them into water - brooks and rivers - watching the lights float away. When World War II came, the tradition was forgotten, but it's starting to come to life again in some parts of the country.

2 comments:

  1. Mary, thank you for inviting me to write a guest post for your blog! It feels so nice to share a tradition from this part of the world.

    I hope the tradition of "putting light into water" returns to more parts of Slovenia. All those lights floating on water look really pretty.

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  2. I hope this tradition returns as well b/c it is beautiful. The whole idea gives me the warm fuzzies.

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