National holidays

National holidays

In the Netherlands people are celebrating »King’s Day« today, unfortunately, another year without people dressed in orange, partying on the street. Today is also a national holiday in Slovenia, but one of a completely different nature. Today, the »Day of the Resistance« is celebrated here. On this day, in 1941, a resistance against the German occupier was organized. However, nowadays, this holiday is just an extra day off for most people.

This is how people celebrated Kings day before Corona

May first and second are also public holidays in Slovenia, which is why this week is always the spring break for school-going children. Unfortunately, May first and second fall on a Saturday and Sunday this year so most people, therefore, do not have an »extra« day off :(. May first is internationally celebrated as “Labor Day”, also here. However, as I read on the internet, Slovenia is the only European country that has two days off for this holiday. The second day of May is, therefore, something like «Second Labor day«, like Whit Monday in the Netherlands. That is a holiday we don’t celebrate here :).

In Slovenia, we do have Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, together with Christmas the most important holidays of the year, but there is only one Whit Sunday, unlike in the Netherlands, where they have a second Pentecost holiday on the Monday. On Easter Sunday, families come together for an Easter breakfast or Easter lunch, just like in the Netherlands. A typical Easter breakfast here consists of ham with grated horseradish, eggs, and Potica, a bread with a sweet walnut filling. By the way, Easter is called »Veliko noč« here (literally translated: great night), and Pentecost is called »Binkošti«.

A typical Easter breakfast in Slovenia: ham, horseradish, eggs and Potica

Christmas (Božič) is also slightly different, because although we do have a public holiday on December 26, this is not »Second Christmas day« (Boxing Day), like it is called in the Netherlands. This day is called “Independence Day” and “Unity Day” in Slovenia and dates back to 1990 when the majority of the Slovenian population voted in favor of independence from Yugoslavia in a referendum.

Christmas 2020 at the Cundrič residence

Other differences with the Dutch holidays are August 15 and January second. Although we also know August 15 in the Netherlands as »Mary Assumption«, it is a day off here, unlike in the Netherlands, where it is not. January second is also a day off here, again as a kind of second New Year’s Day. From 1955 to 2013 this was a day off, but then this day was canceled by the government, for financial reasons and because Slovenia was one of the few countries in Europe that had January second as a day off. After four years, in 2016, January second was reintroduced as a national holiday :).

Photo opportunity: a few minutes after midnight on January first 2021

This year is again a bad year for the days off. Whereat best we have 12 »extra« (weekday) days off, this year, just like last year, there are only seven :(.

Despite all the Corona restrictions, I still wish everyone a happy King’s Day or Day of the Resistance :). In the Netherlands apparently with sunshine today, here, unfortunately, in the rain.


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