Traditions and customs

Manners and customs at different feasts show us man’s connection with nature when people prayed to a higher force for a good harvest.

The majority of traditional festivities are somehow related to Christianity, but they originally represented sacral and secular power in the traditional farming family. Manners and customs at different feasts show us man’s connection with nature when people prayed to a higher force for a good harvest.

The most important collective village festival was the feastday of the patron saint of the village, normally celebrated by the community on the first Sunday after the saint’s feastday, or on the actual feastday itself.   At home, housewives prepared a big meal, to which they had invited their relatives from both neighbouring and far away villages.  

One important village celebration is represented by Carnival “pustovanje”. According to oral tradition, he was believed to take the winter away from the villages and to bring spring. Both young and old wear masks or fancy dress and hold a procession through the village. Villagers invite them in and offer them carnival delicacies like doughnuts, sweets similar to doughnuts only without marmelade known as “miške” or “fancli” and a delicacy made of particular pastry which is subsequently fried called “štraube”, and of course a glass of good home-made wine. Villagers give them money, eggs, sausages, and wine as presents.

After World War II, the 1st of May celebrations re-emerged. In the majority of towns in Slovenia and also in some towns in the Trieste area, the festival is associated with the erecting of poles which are made from tall pine-trees with the bark peeled off, but its green top remains and an ornamental wreath, on which fruit like oranges and apples is hung. At the top, a flag flutters. The pole is put up on the eve of the 1st May and in certain villages it is accompained by bonfires, which once marked the feastday of St. John the Baptist (24 June).

An interesting custom also takes place the day before a wedding. To mark this as the most important day in the lives of the young newly weds young co-villagers make them a kalona, which means that they decorate the main entrance of their homestead with juniper branches and flowers.

 

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