Slovenian people use a special phrase for the last month of the year. They call it »The Happy December« (Veseli december). As one can properly assume, the name originates in the all month festivities that spread throughout Slovenia – from villages to towns, from working places to circles of families and friends.
It is that month of the year everyone looks forward to, for it brings an abundance of joy through various events and meetings, all undersigned with an optimistic view of how anything can happen. It is the month when all the dreams are allowed while being accompanied by good food, drinks, and parties. Slovenian capital undoubtedly executes the proverbial December happiness to perfection with bringing to life anyone’s dreams of the fairytale replacing the everyday routine.
Not to mention the switch-on of its famous festive lights, on 1st of December at 17:15, that in parts resemble images of the universe taken by NASA! The ceremony consists of the simultaneous lightening up of the whole display floating above the city centre, and particularly above the December’s centre of the city’s social life – the Festive Fair. The setting annually cheers up Ljubljana and its visitors with mulled wine, aromatic tea and roasted chestnut smells rising from festively decorated stalls selling perfect gift for one’s loved ones; let it be gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, various fashion accessories, local arts and crafts products, and traditional Slovenian delights such as honey, schnapps, and various sweet treats. In addition, a life-size straw-made nativity scene and the festive fair at magical Ljubljana Castle get guests smitten when transferring them into stories and colours.
For children three generous persons are coming to town! On December 5th St. Nicholas will arrive, while Grandpa Frost (Santa’s Slavic counterpart) will roll his processions through the streets in the last few days of the 2017. The third person, A Good Fairy, will not bring gifts, but it will be fulfilling everyone’s wishes by the Town Hall.
If one’s wishes are more of an artistic or cultural taste, then certainly one will be pleased with ballet performances of The Nutcracker and the Swan Lake, or by a concert of children’s choirs. Young and old alike will be able to enjoy performances on four of the city’s main squares by street theatre groups, circus performers, pop and traditional folk concerts topped with a concert of alternative rock music. Moreover, the biggest hall in Ljubljana (Dvorana Stožice Hall) will offer Royal Christmas Gala with Sarah Brightman, the Broadway and West End Star and Grammy-winning classical-crossover singer, and Gregorian, German musical artists that have sold more than 10 million albums all around the world, while Cankarjev dom will host Cantabile Symphony Orchestra.
Certainly, however, the two most important days for Ljubljana are the 24th and the 31st of December. Both of these will furtherly build the atmosphere and fill one’s senses and emotions. On 24th the traditional Christmas concert will be an opportunity to experience gospel and Christmas songs performed by choirs and renowned solo singers in the magical atmosphere of the festively decorated city.
And last, but not least, Ljubljana will party in the Open-air New Year’s Eve celebrations. The celebration begins in the afternoon with festivities for children, and in the evening festivities launch in four Ljubljana squares with performances by music groups for all tastes and ages. At midnight, when the party gets to the high point, Ljubljana Castle will light up the sky with a fireworks display.
It almost feels like there is nothing missing and that one could not wish for more … However, if you still feel like there might be something more … Well, rest assured, the city thought of that too. Christmas shopping! As already mentioned earlier, one can either fulfill this at the Festive Fair, or one can go further and visit the Central Market, the city’s wine shops, or numerous city centre shops and even malls – most of them traditinoally offering Christmas discounts also during extended opening hours on Sunday.
Or one can just stroll along the culinary scene in a Taste Ljubljana Culinary Tour or take other guided tours of the city that are accompanied by a festive flavour. It will be even possible to take a different stroll – a water stroll. Namely, tourist boat cruises along river Ljubljanica will also accompany the Christmas offer.
In any case … This should be enough, right? For such a small country with such a small capital (small in size, of course) … It is almost impossible to believe that it can hold so much programe .. One could almost say that it is all a fairytale. Well, it is not. It all is true. However, you will see the real fairytale on Ljubljana streets. In all colours, in all smells, in all of the meanings. A real festivity for all of the senses. And for one’s soul. Honestly, nothing can be more delightful as a really charming year’s ending announcing the new one to come.
Visit Ljubljana and become a part of the special Slovenian “Happy December”!
Find further fairytale details on the following link: