St Gregory’s Day in Slovenia
12. March, 2023

St. Gregory’s Day, also known as Gregorjevo in Slovenia, is an annual holiday celebrated on March 12th. The holiday has both religious and cultural significance in Slovenia, and is especially important in the town of Kropa.

Grandmother and grandfather with grandson proudly presenting their "boats" they are about to release into the stream.

In the Catholic faith, St. Gregory is the patron saint of spring and is celebrated on March 12th. The holiday is traditionally observed with the release of lit candles into the water, which symbolize the spreading of the light of Christ throughout the world. In Kropa, the “luč u vodo” tradition involves the release of lit candles into the stream that runs through the center of the town, and is a significant part of the St. Gregory’s Day celebrations.

In addition to the religious significance of the holiday, St. Gregory’s Day is also an important cultural event in Slovenia. In Kropa, the holiday is celebrated with music, dance, and food, as well as the release of small boats made by children. The boats are often decorated with colorful designs and are released into the stream, symbolizing the arrival of spring and the renewal of life.

A group of locals are gathering to exhibit their creations.

The town of Kropa is known for its rich history of iron forging, and St. Gregory’s Day has been celebrated in the town for centuries. The holiday is named after St. Gregory, who was a pope in the 6th century and is said to have performed a miracle that resulted in the creation of the first-ever fountain of holy water. In Slovenia, the holiday is also known as “Gregorjevo,” and is a time to honor the town’s history of metalworking.

Candle-lit boats known as "luč u vodo"

Boats are typically made from wood or paper and are decorated with colorful designs and messages. The boats are then set afloat down the stream that runs through the center of the town.

The release of lit candles into the stream symbolizes the arrival of spring and the return of longer daylight hours, which would have been significant for blacksmiths who relied on natural light to work.

Colorful boats

Overall, St. Gregory’s Day is a significant holiday in Slovenia, and is celebrated with both religious and cultural traditions. In Kropa, the “luč u vodo” and small boat release traditions are especially important, and reflect the town’s rich history and cultural heritage.

 

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