Symbolism and the start of Spring in Slovenia
9.3.2018 | Fiona Thompson
With the heavy snow not coming until relatively late this year, for many this winter has felt very long. But fear not! Temperatures are rising and the days are getting gradually longer, and St. Gregory’s Day is almost upon us once more.
The ancient tradition holds that on 11 March, it is once again light enough for craftsmen to work without artifical light in their workshops. Although numerous towns and villages, and even Ljubljana, mark the occasion in some way, one of the most interesting and charming events takes place in Tržič, a town once connected with shoemaking.
In the past, the young apprentices would beg from the master a little time to make a model of house, inside of which they placed a little basket of woodshavings and other small combustible debris, which they would quickly light before setting the floating house on the water.
Shoemaking no longer exists in Tržič so it’s up to local school children to keep the custom alive. The event is known as Vuč u vodo and lasts several days, starting with an exhibition of the carefully made miniature houses before they are floated off.
In Ljubljana children also float little wooden clogs down the Ljubljanica, inside which are burning candles. The event takes place in the Trnovo part of the city at 17:00.