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Easter in Slovenia

An article about Easter in Slovenia.

Let us briefly introduce to you how Easter is celebrated in Slovenia. Not only is it the most important Christian holiday, but it also has great traditional value. This is the day when the whole family gathers on Sunday at the table, which is swaying under the weight of Easter dishes. Before that, the preparation is required a few days before the celebration.

Potica. Photo by: vegilandija.si


Good Friday commands fasting, as this is the day Jesus was crucified. There are no meat dishes on this day. It is followed by Holy Saturday as the dishes are prepared for the blessing. According to tradition, a basket of dishes (Velikonočni jerbas) is prepared, which has a symbolic meaning: dried meat, which represents the body of Christ; red “pirhi” (coloured eggs), which represent blood; horseradish, which represents the nails, and potica, which represents the crown of thorns. In modern times, baskets also do not lack large chocolate eggs and other chocolate products. “Pirhi”, which are coloured and decorated eggs, is a wonderful art. They are made by young and old, in all possible colours and patterns. The decorations also differ between places in Slovenia that have different traditions. Traditionally, however, “pirhi” are colored red as they symbolize the blood of Christ.


The next day, on Holy Sunday, the resurrection of Christ is celebrated. The family gathers and enjoys Easter meals together. There is also a traditional exchange of “pirhi”. Family members exchange “pirhi” that they have previously decorated. This custom dates back to Pagan times. Eggs represent many things – in addition to the blood of Jesus, they also represent life and creation, love, and friendship. Because Christ rose from a stone tomb just as a chicken comes from an egg, the egg is also a sign of Christ’s resurrection.

Velikonočni jerbas. Photo by: 24ur.com


Easter is also celebrated with various cultural events. One of the more well-known is the search for “pirhi”, which varies between places. Thus, in Gorenjska (northern part of Slovenia) and Dolenjska (southern part of Slovenia) there is a typical competition in chopping and hitting “pirhi”. The object of the game is to aim at the eggs with coins at the basket which is at least a meter and a half away or to use a twisted stick to aim at the “pirhi” from six meters away. There is also a knocking of “pirhi” on a rake or “perivnik”. In addition to the games, there are organized also various hikes, blessings, and other cultural events.

Knocking of pirhi. Photo by: Times.si

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