March 12, 2019
In 1582 the Gregorian calendar was introduced. Until then the first day of spring was marked on March 12, and in Slovenian folk tradition it continues to be celebrated as St Gregory's Day.
St Gregory's is named after Pope Saint Gregory the Great (app. 540 - 604), who according to folk traditions brings spring, light and the sun.
On March 12 there was already light enough that the blacksmiths of Kropa did not need torches or candles for their work anymore, which they celebrated by throwing burning objects into the local stream, which later evolved into children sending little ships and huts (little gregories) down the water.
??? According to folk tradition, St. Gregory brings #spring on his name day, 12 March. Tonight, children across #Slovenia will welcome spring by floating hand-made candle boats down the rivers ⛵️.@visitljubljana ? @VisitKranj ? @visit_trzic #ifeelsLOVEnia #myway pic.twitter.com/3wQJUyjhzO— Feel Slovenia? (@SloveniaInfo) March 11, 2019
St. Gregory's day is also Slovenian St. Valentine's, a day of lovers, as according to folk traditions this is the day of bird nesting. Unmarried girls thus would look into the sky on this day, as the first bird they saw would suggest what their future husband would be like.