December in Ljubljana: a varied program and festive atmosphere
The designer of this year's decorations is again artist, Zmago Modic, with the theme Coming Closer. In his words, the decorations include shooting stars of the universal Ljubljana and other signs, with a special emphasis on coming together and aspiring toward the symbiosis between lives on the planet. The decorations are comprised of enriched elements from previous years.
The new decorative elements are placed above Prešeren Square, the Three Bridges, Stritar Street and partially above the City Square and the Ciril Metod Square. They enrich the Petkovšek Embankment, Trubar Street, Mala ulica Street, Wolf Street, Vega Street, French Revolution Square and Slovene Street at the Ursuline Monastery and the intersection of Slovenska ulica and Gosposvetska ulica (Ajdovščina). A novelty is also the light connection between Breg Embankment and Gallus Embankment, spanning the Ljubljanica River.
The festive fair, which traditionally becomes the centre of social events for a month, opened with the turning-on of the lights. At Breg Embankment, Cankar Embankment, Congress Square and Prešeren Square there are 50 gift and food stands. This year, a food stand moved from Breg Embankment to Gallus Embankment, joining two other food stands which had been set up at this location last year. This year, the festive December has expanded to a new location, the Petkovšek Embankment, where three fair stands from Breg Embankment have moved.
Stands selling gifts on Breg Embankment and Petkovšek Embankment are open from 10:00 until 22:00, and on Fridays and Saturdays one hour longer. The food stands are open from 10:00 until 24:00, except those on Breg Embankment which close an hour earlier.
In line with Ljubljana's sustainable orientation, culinary providers are using sustainable packaging made of paper, cardboard or wood, that is, biodegradable packaging. Each caterer is offering at least one dish from the Taste Ljubljana repertoire.
Photo: Miha Mally, The festive fair, within the framework of December at the Ljubljana Castle, is again held in the Ljubljana Castle Courtyard. There are gift and food stands set up for visitors.
Traditional features of the December program are the St. Nicholas Fair at Prešeren Square, the St. Nicholas Procession, the Magical Forest - creative workshops for children, performances of organ-grinders, the Christmas Concert in front of the City Hall, five Father Frost Processions with his entourage, street theatre performances, the music program in the city squares and the New Year's celebration for children in Congress Square at 16.00. The open-air New-Year's Eve celebration will be held at four locations and at midnight there will be five minutes of fireworks from the Castle Hill which will light up the city.
The fireworks are compliant with EU legislation (CE certificate) and made exclusively out of paper, that is, degradable materials. In case of fog, increased cloudiness or strong winds, audible fireworks with low flying rockets will be used.
Music program in city squares
From 14 December to 1 January, within the framework of the music program, numerous Slovenian and foreign musicians will perform on stages in the New Square, Congress Square, City Square and French Revolution Square: Jan Plestenjak, Nina Pušlar, Petar Grašo, Danijela, Čuki, Plavi Orkestar, Victory, Rok'n'Band, Nika Zorjan, Slon in Sadež, Elvis Jackson, Katalena, Čedahuči, Big Band Šentjur, Maraaya & Jazzilaz, Šank Rock, MI2 and others.
Guided holiday city tours
Guided tours of the city also have a festive character in December. From 1 December until 6 January, visitors can enjoy a fairytale Ljubljana with a tour starting every day at 17.00 from the Ljubljana Tourist Information Centre at Adamič Lunder Embankment 2.
And nobody will be cold during a guided tour, each guest will be offered a cup of mulled wine and a gingerbread biscuit.
Responsible for safety during festive events are the police officers from the Police Directorate Ljubljana, the Police Station Centre and the Municipal Police Department of the City of Ljubljana. Visitors are advised to be vigilant and protect their property to prevent possible theft.
A very high number of visitors attend December events in Ljubljana, therefore we kindly ask you to remain patient in traffic. Leave on time for the city centre and consider using the fastest means to get there. You are advised to park in the P+R parking areas on the outskirts of the city and take a city bus to the city centre.