Thursday, November 1, 2007

Slovenian students (and teachers) enjoying autumn holidays this week :-)

candle one, originally uploaded by francesca.sara.

Doris wandered about the Halloween in different parts of the world here and I'm writing this in response to her post.
In Slovenia we don't make a big deal about Halloween; we carve out pumpkins and people attend Halloween parties and concerts (especially young) but we generally don't make much fuss about it.
October 31st is a work-free day in Slovenia and so is the following day, November 1st. The reason however is not Halloween but another religious holiday celebrated on this day, called Reformation Day.
The Reformation was a Protestant movement in the 16th century attempting to reform the Catholic Church. The first Slovene book and the first mention of the name 'Slovene' is associated with the Reformation and Slovenia has therefore appointed Reformation Day as a national holiday. There is usually an 'official' celebration but it is not really people's holiday.
The following day, November 1, on the other hand, is a firmly rooted national holiday called All Saints Day or simply the Day of the Dead. As the name itself tells, it's the day when we remember our dead. Families gather together, we remember our dear ones, visit their graves, bring flowers, light candles, stop for awhile by their graves, and also meet friends there. People take this holiday very seriously. It therefore suprised me very much when I happened to end up in the Mexican part of Los Angeles years ago on Dia De Los Muertos and witnessed a joyous and lively celebration of November 1st. I liked it.


bili said...

I agree with you... this should be more like the Mexican Dia de los Muertos... in Serbia they have a table and a bench by every grave so when you visit the grave you have to bring something to eat, to drink, something that person loved...and than you sit there have a time of your own kinda with that person... it's nice in a way... after all you should only remember good things about those that are no longer with's much easier that way...;)

Saša said...

Thanks for adding this, Bili. I saw it in Russia and liked it too. It's interesting how different cultures approach death differently.

pikec85 said...

Well, what I actually do not understand is why is halloween even celebrated here in Slovenia. We have our festival (pust) in February. Why do we need one more??? Well, one more, no more ;)

Saša said...

Exactly. I guess 'Pust' (our 'Carnival')is one of the main reasons why Halloween hasn't been successfully imported to our country yet.