December 19, 2017
There are several good men that bring gifts in December, and one (Miklavž) we’ve already missed, so we better prepare for what's left.
To cut the story short, the three men, St. Nicholas (Miklavž), Santa Claus (Božiček) and Grandpa Frost (Dedek Mraz) are basically three versions of the same thing: an old man who brings children presents if they have been good.
This trinity of one arose from attempts by various ethico-political systems to erase the “barbaric” pagan rituals that have taken place during the Winter Solstice since pre-history, and after failing to get rid of them, they were adopted and restyled in the image of the dominant religion.
Dedek Mraz, Miklavž, Božiček
In Slovenia, thanks to the 50-year rule of Marxism and the Catholic Church before and after that, St. Nicholas (Miklavž), who brings gifts to children on the Eve of December 6, and Grandpa Frost (Dedek Mraz), who brings them on New Year's Eve, are in increasing competition with each other as much as they are with Santa Claus (Božiček), which in some versions of the story is little Jesus himself (Božiček – Little God), bringing gifts to children on his birthday.
We find it appropriate to embrace the pluralism of the times and generously accept all the gifts that have been offered to us. So let's focus now where to get all the good views and candy, as we've all been very good this year.
Now, since we’ve already missed Miklavž, but promise to catch him next year, while Božiček is sort of a domestic figure, and, as you can see yourself below, can only be seen in a couple of cities, what's left is the quite regular and widespread procession of Dedek Mraz. This is his schedule, where he’ll be leaving trails of candy wrappers, cookie crumbs and cavities in his wake:
Dedek Mraz will head towards Ljubljana from his home under Triglav (the highest Slovenian mountain, in case you didn't know), and is expected to arrive on December 26 at about 17:00. He will travel in a horse-drawn carriage in a procession of snowflakes, snowmen, white rabbits and that kind of things. Here is a video of him in 2014:
Dedek Mraz began his visit to Maribor and the surrounding towns and villages on December 9, and will complete them with his last visit to the city on December 29. At 17:00 you can meet him at Vetrinjski Dvor in Vilinsko mesto (the City of Fairies), and at 17:45 at Leon Štukelj Square. Unlike Dedek Mraz in Ljubljana, Dedek Mraz of Maribor starts his journey from Pohorje. Here you can enjoy a video from his last year's arrival:
In the Fairy-tale Land of Celje, aka the “city of counts”, which is at several locations in the city centre, you can enjoy various events and meet fairy-tale characters on a daily basis. But pay special attention on the following days: every day at 18:00 between December 16 and 26 you can meet Santa, and on 26 Dedek Mraz will take over till the last day of the year. Here is a glimpse of what to expect:
Dedek Mraz arrived in Velenje on December 14, and has been visiting smaller events since. You can join him at his farewell party on December 31 at 18:00 at Tito Square.
A variety of events will take place in the last days of December at the Main Square in front of the Prešeren Theatre in Kranj. Dedek Mraz though will be there to meet and greet all those who make their bed in the morning and change their socks at least once a week, whether they need to or not, on December 30 at 17:00.
Santa Claus will arrive in Titov trg in Koper on December 23 at 17:00, while children can celebrate the New Year one day early, with a special party on December 30, which will also see the appearance of Dedek Mraz, starting 17:00.
Dedek Mraz will arrive a bit earlier in Murska Sobota, and you can meet him in Slovenska ulica on December 23, at 17:00PM. One of his previous arrivals has been caught on camera:
And if you’re looking for our full list of events in Ljubljana this December, check out our earlier guide.