Easter in Slovenia
Easter in Slovenia is for sure the greatest Christian holiday and a culinary gathering of the whole family. It is a truly festive time when family gets together. Easter traditions in Slovenia are vibrant.
Easter time begins with 40-days fasting period. Holy week is accompanied by vibrant folks habits and customs. Everything starts with Palm Sunday and ends one week later on Easter.
Palm Sunday/Cvetna nedelja
In Slovenia, there is an old tradition of bringing “butarica”, which represents greenery to Palm Sunday mass for the blessing. Butarica is traditionally a bundle of greenery, flowers or colored wood shavings. In Ljubljana, they are made of colored wood shavings, in Primorska region, locals use branches of the olive tree. They are meant to be taken to church on the Sunday before Easter, called Cvetna Nedelja (Palm Sunday)
Easter Friday/Veliki petek
In more traditional parts of Slovenia, Good Friday is a day of strict fasting. Many people refrain from eating meat and church bells are silent.
Easter Saturday/Velika sobota
On Easter Saturday locals prepare traditional Easter basket and take the food to the church to be blessed called žegen. The food items in the basket symbolize the sufferings of Christ. The basket is usually full of ham (represents the body of Christ), potica (symbolizes Christ’s crown of thorns), sausages (symbolizes the ropes Christ was tied with), horseradish (represent the nails Christ was crucified with), and painted Easter eggs/pirhi (represents Christ blood), and these days’ huge chocolate eggs for kids are a must. While making pirhi, locals are usually using flowers, greenery and natural coloring. The most traditional decoration of pirhi is natural dyeing with red onion skin. Pinca, Easter sweet bread is very popular to put it into the basket in Goriska region on the western part of Slovenia.
On Easter Sunday the whole family gather together for Easter breakfast. Typical Slovenian Easter food which is brought on the table on Easter Sunday consist of eggs (pirhi), smoked ham, horseradish, potica (rolled sweet bread). The most recognizable Easter symbols are pirhi, painted hard-boiled eggs. In different parts of Slovenia different names and styles of decorations for pirhi are used. Admire the folk art of pisánke (Bela Krajina region), drsanke or ramenice (Prekmurje region). There is no festive time without potica made of yeast dough and filled with all different fillings. The protected Slovenian potica can be prepared with five fillings: walnut, walnut with raisins, raisins, tarragon or tarragon with cottage cheese.
After the meal kids and adults alike play a special game. They compete in chopping each other’s Easter eggs by throwing coins at eggs placed in a basket or in the corner. The one whose coins was stuck in the egg was the winner.
It is a day off, a day for relaxation. Relaxation of eating. 🙂
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