Culture Day celebrated in a limited form this year

Ljubljana – Culture Day, a public holiday marking the anniversary of the death of poet France Prešeren (1800-1849), will be celebrated in Slovenia on Tuesday in a limited form, as there will be no traditional event at Prešeren’s birth house in Vrba, and the recital of Prešeren’s poetry will be broadcast on the radio.

One of the rare live events that will mark the holiday celebrating the Slovenian culture will be held at the Presidential Palace, which will host an open day for the public.

On the occasion, President Borut Pahor will address the citizens alongside one of the two recipients of this year’s Prešeren Prize for lifetime achievement, translator Kajetan Gantar.

Prior to that, Pahor and Culture Minister Vasko Simoniti will lay a wreath at the monument to France Prešeren in Ljubljana.

The traditional recital of Prešeren’s poetry will not be held in person this year, it will be instead broadcast live from the studios of Radio Slovenija, Radio Maribor, and Europe Square that straddles Italy’s Gorizia and Slovenia’s Nova Gorica.

Organised by the Slovenian Association of Dramatic Artists, the broadcast will resound through the loudspeakers in the streets of Ljubljana, Maribor, Kranj, Koper, Celje and Nova Gorica and in front of Prešeren’s birth house in the village of Vrba.

There will be no traditional celebration in Vrba this year, and hikes along the local cultural heritage trail have also been cancelled due to the epidemiological situation.

The local authorities and the tourism and culture centre have nevertheless invited people to visit the birthplaces of Prešeren and other important cultural figures on this day.

While the traditional Prešeren Fair in Kranj will also be held in a limited form, numerous cultural institutions around Slovenia have invited people to attend open door events and related events after the holiday.

On the eve of Culture Day, the Prešeren Prizes, the top national awards in culture, were conferred at a ceremony in Cankarjev Dom in Ljubljana, with Gantar and conductor and musicologist Mirko Cuderman receiving the lifetime achievement awards.