Saturday, 12. 3. 2011

'welcome to spring – gregorčki'

For the sixteenth consecutive year, the 'Welcome to Spring – Gregorčki' traditional children's event took place on the Gradaščica stream at Eipprova Street between 5.30 and 8pm on Friday 11 March.

'Welcome to Spring' is an event through which we in Ljubljana remember the old custom of craftsmen placing little boats made from wooden clogs onto the river with lit candles and thus celebrated the fact that with the arrival of spring it would no longer be necessary to work with the lights on.

According to the old Julian calendar, spring arrived on St Gregory's Day, which is 12 March.

On the evening before St Gregory's Day, mostly children gather along the Gradaščica stream in Trnovo to launch various kinds of boats made of paper or wood into which candles are placed. These floating lights are called 'little arks of St Gregory' or "Gregorčke". To enhance the fairytale atmosphere still further, numerous torches and bonfires are lit on the banks of the Gradaščica.

The event was enriched with an accompanying cultural programme prepared by the Kolenc Theatre Company and students from the Ljubljana Vič-Rudnik School of Music. This year also saw the participation of the Slovenian Ethnographic Museum, at whose children's workshops little boats intended for the event were made.