These small things that make the holidays so special

What is needed for creating the holiday magic in our homes? A Christmas tree, festive lights, various decorations – this is the "mandatory equipment" for this special time of year, although everyone decorates their home in their own way. The festive spirit is awakened by the nativity scene in many homes and churches. Towns and villages are adorned with thousands of small lights that chase away the December gloom and bring hope. We also become nostalgic during the holidays when remembering the festive season aromas that came from grandma’s kitchen, and which we try to recreate in our own homes. Are you interested in Slovenia’s holiday tradition?

Slovenian Christmas tree in the Vatican City

Do you know what Slovenia will contribute to merry December in the Vatican City? In the year when Slovenia commemorates the 30th anniversary of the plebiscite on the country’s independence, a mighty 30-metre-high Christmas tree will be proudly displayed in St Peter’s Square. A Christmas tree adorned with traditional, hand-made decorations crafted from natural materials will convey a unique story about our wealth of green forests and rich handicraft tradition. Slovenia is a healthy, clean and sustainability-oriented country, and this is also the message of the decorations.

From greenery to spruce

You know that pleasurable excitement and delicious anticipation you feel when decorating a Christmas tree? Isn’t it absolutely magical when the golden star is placed at the top of a fir or a spruce as the finishing touch? A spruce tree with its sky-reaching shape and persistent greenery has always been a special symbol of hope and resilience in winter days, which is just what we need today. But did you know that decorating spruce trees is quite a recent tradition in Slovenian homes? Before World War I, homesteads were adorned by bogkov kot (God’s corner), in which spruce branches, mistletoe, ivy and other greenery were placed.

Connected with nature – during the holidays, too

Although artificial Christmas trees are replacing natural ones more and more, the distinctive natural scent of a true tree is still essential to the occasion. For your home to be decorated with a natural spruce tree, you don’t have to cut one down in a forest, as you can get a tree that’s grown in a pot or lease it for the holidays and then return it to the nursery.

Forest = Slovenia’s lungs

Almost 60 per cent of Slovenia is covered by forests. The largest wooded area stretches through the Kočevsko region where the Queen of Rog, the most majestic fir tree, grows. It is 55 metres high and its girth is more than 500 cm. Many inspiring stories can be found in Slovenian forests, too: from unique glamping locations to gastronomic delights. Discover your way of experiencing green forest in Slovenia.

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Forest = Slovenia’s lungs

Forest = Slovenia’s lungs

Almost 60 per cent of Slovenia is covered by forests. The largest wooded area stretches through the Kočevsko region where the Queen of Rog, the most majestic fir tree, grows. It is 55 metres high and its girth is more than 500 cm. Many inspiring stories can be found in Slovenian forests, too: from unique glamping locations to gastronomic delights. Discover your way of experiencing green forest in Slovenia.

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Decorations made from natural materials

Decorations make the Christmas tree even more magical. Slovenians have always lived in contact with nature, which is reflected in the tradition of decorating. Our ancestors used apples, pears and walnuts for ornaments, by means of which they also expressed hope that next year’s harvest would be abundant. The greenery in bogkov kot was adorned with colourful paper chains, golden walnuts, cones and dried fruit. Beautiful ornaments made from natural materials by handicraft masters are also something special. Decorations made from wood shavings or straw are particularly lovely. You may also be captivated by ornaments made from clay or lace.

A fairy-tale Advent in towns

It would be difficult to find a town in Slovenia that isn’t illuminated by the glow of festive lights during Advent. In certain towns, decorating is turned into true art. Thousands of lights tell stories linked to the history or character of the town or they take us to the world of fairy tales. And it’s difficult to remain indifferent in the festive gleam that kindles the sparks of happiness and hope in our hearts.

Slovenia-inspired gifts

Festive market stalls are usually set up in Slovenian towns during the holiday season where people can find delightful gifts for their loved ones. Wooden goods, lace, crystal, honey products, wine – these are but some of the ideas for making someone’s holiday special with a Slovenian gift. In addition to traditional handicrafts, you can also give a more modern masterpiece made by Slovenian craftsmen and designers.

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Slovenia-inspired gifts

Slovenia-inspired gifts

Festive market stalls are usually set up in Slovenian towns during the holiday season where people can find delightful gifts for their loved ones. Wooden goods, lace, crystal, honey products, wine – these are but some of the ideas for making someone’s holiday special with a Slovenian gift. In addition to traditional handicrafts, you can also give a more modern masterpiece made by Slovenian craftsmen and designers.

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Festive spirit on your plate

You’re probably interested to know how holidays taste and smell in Slovenia. They are certainly fragrant with the aroma of potica (nut roll), the queen of Slovenian holiday dishes known in all 24 Slovenian gastronomic regions. Meat and home-made pork sausages are also traditionally served on the festive table. Christmas bread called poprtnik has a particularly rich symbolic value and decorates the kitchen table throughout the Christmas holidays.

Do you know how to make a potica?

You’ll never find out if you don’t try. Check out the recipe, roll up your sleeves and try making this traditional Slovenian holiday dessert in your own home. Let the pleasant aroma of Slovenian tradition spread from your kitchen, too.

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Do you know how to make a potica?

Do you know how to make a potica?

You’ll never find out if you don’t try. Check out the recipe, roll up your sleeves and try making this traditional Slovenian holiday dessert in your own home. Let the pleasant aroma of Slovenian tradition spread from your kitchen, too.

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What else can you do to spice up your holidays?

Take some time during the festive season to prepare few Slovenian dishes which can be nicely combined with supreme Slovenian wines. Fly on the wings of imagination to the places you wish to visit and take a virtual walk among the treasures of the Slovenian natural and cultural heritage to make your trip even more realistic.

Cities and destinations

Small towns for big adventures.

Cities and destinations

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Top 10 sights

Must-see attractions in green Slovenia!

Top 10 sights

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Savouring Slovenian Tradition

Discover the richness of Slovenian cuisine and its geographically protected peculiarities

Savouring Slovenian Tradition

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My own way of trying out local recipes

Taste Slovenia and cook food from various Slovenian regions.

My own way of trying out local recipes

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Your virtual walk around Slovenia

Take virtual tours of Slovenian natural and cultural treasures.

Your virtual walk around Slovenia

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Wines of Slovenia

Where can you taste the wine from the three wine-growing regions of Slovenia?

Wines of Slovenia

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Stories from Slovenia

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