The Slovenia Times

Time To Be Merry



December's celebrations start on Friday 3rd with a short festive ceremony, followed by the official switching on the countless Christmas lights across the city, including the two new bridges. "We have enriched the traditional theme of the lighting, 'the Universal Ljubljana', with a special focus on life," explains Petra Stušek from Ljubljana Tourism. "This means that new lighting elements are going to be added. There will be less blue and more pleasantly warm yellowish red."

From fairs to fairies

The lights will greet the opening of two fairs. St. Nicholas's Fair will take place on the square Prešernov trg for three days and its cheerfully decorated stalls will be offering various goods suitable for presents which are traditionally given to children on 6th December. There will also be St. Nicholas's procession with devils and angels giving biscuits, fruits and sweets to youngsters. The popular square together with Breg and Cankarjevno nabrežje embankments will host also the Festive Fair, open until 2nd January, when the entire festive programme will end. Each year this fair, with its food and drink stalls, especially mulled wine and honey brandy, is the centre of the city's social life. "The fair is visited by thousands of people daily," says Stušek. The other stalls sell a rich selection of holiday products, local goodies and designer items that are mostly not available in shops.

In the second half of the month, two special guided tours around festive Ljubljana with a drink and snacks will be organized daily, one of them with Father Christmas as a guide.

At 5 p.m. from 18th to the 30th December, the Good Fairy will grant wishes to everyone approaching her in front of the Town Hall on Mestni trg.

On Christmas Eve, there will be a concert in Prešernov trg. The organizers promise performances of top Slovenian musicians. Like all other events organized, this one is also free of charge.

Countdown to 2011

The last days of 2010 will be an opportunity to enjoy in a rich cultural programme. In the afternoons before the New Year's Eve, children will enjoy puppet, dance, circus and magician shows attended by Grandfather Frost, the Slavic counterpart of Santa Claus. He will arrive in a carriage, drawn by genuine Lipizzaner horses and his friends from folk and fairy tales. The children's venues are on Prešernov and Novi trg while at the new Mesarski most there will be street theatre performances for a bit older visitors, hosting Ana Mraz and others.

The peak of evening music concerts will to be the New Year's Eve celebrations held in three central squares with a lavish fireworks display. "Tens of thousands of people are expected to join in the celebrations," says Stušek.

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