The Slovenia Times

Culture Day Celebrated in Slovenia


The Slovenian authorities decided in 1945 to declare 8 February Culture Day in remembrance of the day on which poet France Prešeren died in 1849.

In the late 1980s when Slovenia was seeking independence from Yugoslavia, a stanza from his Zdravljica (A Toast) was chosen Slovenia's national anthem.

A Toast, which was scored by Srečko Premrl in the 20th century, is a patriotic and pacifist poem in which Prešeren makes a case for Slovenians' national identity.

Hailed as one of the finest Slovenian poets, Prešeren also gave the name to the country's top award for achievements in arts and culture.

Prešeren Prizes have been given out since 1947, typically on the eve of Culture Day.

This year, the accolade went to novelist Vladimir Kavčič and composer and author Pavle Merku.

Kavčič (1932), who has written extensively about WWII and post-war topics, and Merku (1927), a key culture figure in the Slovenian minority in Italy, were hailed as two of the most prolific Slovenian authors of the second half of the 20th century.


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