The Slovenia Times

Bonfire Festivities Around the Country on Eve of Labour Day


Many of the festivities are being organised by trade unions, who have called for respect for labour rights in the run-up to the holiday. This year, they are especially pointing to the weaknesses of the labour market.

The fact that steady jobs and regular pay are more of an exception than a rule is particularly worrying. Moreover, even those who have jobs and regular salary, receive low wages, unions told the press before the holiday.

In addition, they pointed to the issue of youth, among which many are unemployed or are faced with voluntary internship.

Most celebrations around the country, which are nonetheless usually held in a festive spirit, will be addressed by union representatives and politicians.

One of the main ceremonies, which will be held on Rožnik hill above Ljubljana, will be addressed by the Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković and the ZSSS union vice president Ladi Rožič. The address will be followed by a free concert by pop groups Kingston and Oko.

The small village of Ruše (NE) will also hold big celebration entitled "Small town - Biggest Bonfire", where similarly to previous years, they expect some 8,000 visitors.

The event will include an entertainment programme for children, a hike with torches and traditional group games throughout the day as well as a concert in the evening, when impressive 10-metre "bonfire man" structure will be lit up.

Maribor's main celebration will be traditionally held by the Drava river in the Koblarjev zaliv bay, where the crowd will be addressed by Goran Lukič of the ZSSS trade union confederation.

Similarly, the locals around Celje will gather by the Savinja river, where the local kayak club is organising Labour Day celebrations for the 24th time already. Another celebration will also be held at the Šmartinsko jezero lake nearby.

The Gorenjsko region main celebration will be held at the Sv. Jošt hill above Kranj, while Dolenjsko region will host one of its Labour Day events on Trška gora hill near Novo mesto.

In the light of the upcoming events, the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning calls all organisers to abide by prevention measures to avoid fires.

Several ceremonies are also planned for Friday with President Borut Pahor due to address an event in the Koroško region near the Ivarčko jezero lake.

Labour Day marks the anniversary of the 1886 protests when labourers demanded 8-hour work days in Chicago. Six men died in the event.

Labour day was proclaimed a national bank holiday in 1948 but unofficial celebrations had already been organised prior to that year.


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