Ljubljana "set alight" by Green Dragons
Ljubljana's Green Dragons, one of two major ultras groups in Slovenia, painted the centre of the capital green with an unexpected fireworks spectacle on 2 October to mark their 35th anniversary in an event that has raised quite a few eyebrows.
The supporters of Ljubljana's football, basketball and ice-hockey teams stopped the crowds and the traffic along the busy Ljubljanica river in their tracks just before 8pm with a loud bang.
This was followed by hundreds of flares lit up to the loud chanting of the fans, and with flashing rockets lighting up the sky, in particular above the capital's famed Dragon Bridge, in what lasted about 10 minutes.
Ljubljana has been "set alight" in a similar way on two previous anniversaries, the 25th and 30th, but this time the spectacle exceeded the confines of downtown Ljubljana, newsportal Siol reported.
There have been no reports of any injuries or damage to buildings following the celebration, but Mayor Zoran Janković has offered his apologies to anyone who might have been upset by the noisy and smoke-filled celebrations.
Speaking at his regular weekly press conference on 3 October, the mayor confirmed that the group had announced the event to the city authorities and that the city honoured their wish to turn off the public lights in the city centre for 15 minutes.
Janković acknowledged the negative aspects of this type of festive intervention, but he argued the ultras would have carried through with it with or without the consent of the city authorities.
The beginnings of the Green Dragons date back to 2 October 1988, when a banner with the words Green Dragons first appeared in the stands of Ljubljana's Bežigrad football stadium during a match against Pristhina. It is not clear who the author of the banner was or where the inspiration for it came from.