STA, 26 November 2021 - Holiday season is starting in Slovenian towns as hundreds of thousands of lights will be lit and Christmas fairs launched in major towns on Friday and Saturday. However, due to the epidemiological situation no mass events will be held on the occasion.
Christmas lights will be switched on in Ljubljana and Maribor today, and just like last year the exact time has not be announced to avoid crowd.
In the capital, as many as 50 kilometres of lights will be switched on as part of a holiday decoration designed by Urban Modic, this year celebrating the importance of community and harmony.
The Christmas market is also opening tonight, and will this year expand to the Stritarjeva Street, leading up to the Town Hall.
As customary, a straw nativity scene will be on display on the Ljubljanica riverbank, the Zvezda Park will be adorned with lanterns made by primary school pupils, and citizens and visitors will decorate 79 green trees on four streets in the city centre.
Five concerts are planned in December but it is not clear yet how they will be carried out. Mayor Zoran Janković proposes visitors to be either reconvalescent or vaccinated, but he still needs a green light from the National Institute of Public Health for the move.
In Slovenia's second largest city, Maribor, the holiday magic will culminate in the Main Square and the Leon Štukelj Square. The Main Square will this year feature a festive merry-go-round, just like the one that was featured in a holiday commercial recently shot in the city centre.
Light sculptures called Lumina will greet visitors in city streets and squares, and urban forest photo points will be set up around the city.
Elf City will open on Friday as well, offering events and workshops throughout December. Father Frost will ride around the city in his carriage between 14 and 21 December.
The festive season in the coastal town of Izola will also start on Friday, while in Koper Christmas lights will be switched on on Saturday. In both towns open-air ice skating rinks will open and a number of events are planned for December.
Other towns around Slovenia will slip into the holiday mood this weekend or the next, with the Mozirski Gaj park in Mozirje featuring a record 1,7 million Christmas lights this year.
In Nova Gorica, the lights will be turned on next Friday. The town will organise a book fair, while visitors will be able to produce electricity for lighting up Christmas trees by riding a bike.
Murska Sobota in the north-east has cancelled all festive events because of the epidemic but it will still turn on almost 60,000 lights on the eve of St Nicolas Day.