Vuč u Vodo in Tržič

March 11th is the eve of St. Gregory’s day in Slovenia, a special celebration called Vuč u Vodo (luč v vodo in good Slovene) – which means “light in the water”, takes place in Tržič, a town near my home.

St. Gregory the Great

alternate text Pope Gregory I, later known as St. Gregory the Great, was recognized for his talents in writing – one of his most famous works is the Gregorian chant. He was Pope from September 3rd 590 (his new Feast day since 1969) until his death on March 12th 604 (his old Feast day).

In Slovenia, St. Gregory’s day, Gregorjevo is the Slovenian version of Valentine’s day – the day of lovers. Old folktales told by grandmothers, babice, say that birds get married on March 12th and announce the arrival of spring. Bird is a symbol of love. Old beliefs say that on St. Gregory’s day, the first bird that an unmarried girl will see as she looks up the sky will tell her who her future husband will be. Believe it or not?

Love Birds for St. Gregory's day

Love Birds for St. Gregory’s day

Vuč u Vodo in Tržič

alternate textFor more than one hundred years, Vuč u Vodo has been celebrated in Tržič, the town of Shoemakers.

Back in the days, when there was no electricity, special candles were used by shoemakers to light their workshops. As spring approaches, daylight gets longer and candles are no longer needed. The shoes-making apprentices were especially happy about it and to celebrate the longer day, they decided to clean the workshops, like a huge spring cleaning.

Wooden shreds were place into small baskets, lit and put into the stream of Tržič Bistrica.

Nowadays, there are not a lot of workshop to clean, but the tradition remains and is still celebrated. Every year, the kindergartens and schools in Tržič build many little houses as an important pedagogical activity. During the eve of Gregorjeva, everybody will gather in the old town, a parade will start toward Tržič Bistrica – parents and children, with their little houses in hand, will walk to the river, light the house (or the candle) and let it go in the water.

Adorable Small House built for Vuč u Vodu

Adorable Small House built for Vuč u Vodu


This year, Tržič tried to set Guinness Record: 950 houses were built for the occasion. Unfortunately, the event was considered too “local” and it didn’t met the requirement – still an absolutely beautiful sight to see!

Beautiful and Colorful Small Houses in Tržič

Beautiful and Colorful Small Houses in Tržič

Vuč u Vodo is a great way to celebrate the (soon) arrival of spring. Another interesting festival in Slovenia is Pust, a parade that chased winter away.

How is the arrival of spring celebrated from your part of the world? Please share it with me via the comment box! 😉

Until next time,
Anna.

Saint Nicholas Day is Coming!

The weather is getting colder and snow is falling – winter is coming. For the children, the most awaited celebration of the year is just around the corner.

In Canada, I celebrated Christmas with gift exchanges and family gathering, around December 25th. Here, in Slovenia, Christmas is also celebrated, but Saint Nicholas Day, which is on December 6th, seems to be more popular and traditional celebration.

It does make sense, since Slovenia is mostly Catholic.


alternate text

The magic takes place the night before Saint Nicholas Day, on December 5th.

Saint Nicholas – Miklavž, and his devils – parkelj, is said to go around the houses and visit the children. Gifts will be given out to the children who have been well-behaving during the year, and for those who haven’t been, the parkelj would leave a rod on their doorsteps, for their parents to use to punish them.

And if they have been very naughty, rumors say that the parkelj would put them in a bag and take them away from their parents… which can be pretty scary for small children.

Some villages keep the festivities authentic by having a small group of people, disguised into Saint Nicholas and his parkelj and actually go visit children. Although, catching a glimpse of them doesn’t seem to be easy (as I haven’t seen them yet), but they are said to be pretty impressive – so it’s worth the hunt!


Happy Holidays Preparations! Have you been a good or naughty child this year?

Until next post,
Anna.

The Full Moon in Slovenia

Full Moons are often associated with Werewolves in tales and such – in Slovenia, Full Moon – polna luna is actually a real thing.

As the moon reaches its full phase, you can notice how some Slovenians

  • become more forgetful,
  • tend to drive more aggressively,
  • experience incredible mood swings and more.

All these strange symptoms happen without any tangible and explainable reasons – but they do occur every full moon.

Strange, isn’t it?


The Lunar Effect

Some people (around the World) believe that the moon has a special effect on fertility, human’s behaviors or odd incidents – the lunar effect.

Some theories…

  • The full moon’s attraction has an effects on large body of water. Our bodies are mainly composed of body fluids. Therefore, some believe that the moon has an attraction on our body fluids, thus causing some of us to behave unusually.
  • Others think that the brightness of a full moon affects our sleep patterns, resulting in irritability and mood swings.

Although, scientists found no trivial correlation between full moon and the human behaviors – no increase rate of bad luck, failed surgery or oddness in the Emergency Room.


The Moon has often been a subject of mystery in tales and believes – good or bad.

Slovenians tend to believe a lot that the Moon does have some influences on the behaviors or… the Moon is just an easy excuse out.

If something odd happens in Slovenia, it wouldn’t be unusual to heard that the cause is the Full Moon – polna luna.

So, believe it or not? Share your thoughts on it.

Until next post,
Anna.