Slovenian Christmas Tree to decorate the Vatican

Published: 27.11.2020

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Slovenian Christmas Tree to decorate the Vatican

A spruce tree from the forest of Kočevje will decorate St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. The opening ceremony will take place on 11 December.

Slovenian Christmas Tree to decorate the Vatican

The Christmas tree in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican is an excellent opportunity to bring Slovenia into the spotlight and present it as a green nation. Furthermore, the Christmas tree also symbolizes strong ties between the two countries. It is the second time Slovenia has had this honour, the first one being in 1996.

Slovenia has provided a spruce Christmas tree from Kočevje forests to decorate St. Peter’s Square, as well as 42 smaller spruce and fir trees and Advent crowns for the Vatican areas.

Kočevje forests hold the FSC certificate for the sustainable management, which symbolizes Slovenia’s virtue regarding forests and forestry. In addition to the green message, the whole story communicates also Slovenian ethnological message. In deciding which ornaments to use, Janez Bogataj, an expert on Slovenian ethnographic heritage, suggested to decorate it with the hexaconch, which was most commonly used as an ornament and symbol on building beams, door panels, sides of chests etc. The ornament is made of wood, which is also related to Slovenian heritage. In addition to comet stars and a star in the form of a hexaconch, the spruce tree will also be decorated with a couple of single hexaconch stars.

Dr. Sabina Šegula is a florist who has, together with Peter Ribič, been decorating the Vatican for many years at Easter and Christmas. She said that the red thread of the decorations had been intergenerational cooperation. The ornaments were made at her workshops. The outdoor spruces that will adorn the Vatican City will be decorated with straw ornaments, and the indoor trees with wooden pebbles. All the decorative motifs were designed by her, with the exception of the straw angels.

Curious to find out more about Slovenian customs and traditions of decorating for the festive season? Add a pinch of Slovenian magic to Advent and read the story here.



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