Prešeren Day

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Prešeren Day
Ivan Grohar - Portrait of France Preseren.jpg
Portrait of Slovenian national poet France Prešeren
Observed bySlovenia
Date8 February
Next time8 February 2020 (2020-02-08)

The Prešeren Day, the full name being Prešeren Day, the Slovene Cultural Holiday (Slovene: Prešernov dan, slovenski kulturni praznik), is a public holiday celebrated in Slovenia on 8 February.[1] It is marking the anniversary of the death of the Slovene national poet France Prešeren on 8 February 1849 and is the celebration of the Slovenian culture.[citation needed] It was established in 1945 to raise the cultural consciousness and the self-confidence of the Slovene nation,[2] and declared a work-free day in 1991.[3] On February 7, the eve of the holiday, the Prešeren Awards and the Prešeren Fund Awards, the highest Slovenian recognitions for cultural achievements, are conferred.[4] Prešeren Day continues to be one of the most widely celebrated Slovene holidays.[citation needed] It is not only celebrated in Slovenia, but by Slovene communities all around the world.[citation needed]


The anniversary of Prešeren's death first became a prominent date during World War II in 1941, when 7 February was celebrated as the day of all-Slavic unity.[5] The proposal to celebrate 8 February as the Slovene cultural holiday was put forward in January 1945, during World War II, in Črnomelj by the Slovene Liberation Front's cultural worker Bogomil Gerlanc.[6] It was officially proclaimed a cultural holiday with a decree passed by the Presidency of the Slovene National Liberation Council on 28 January 1945[2] and published in the newspaper Slovenski poročevalec on 1 February 1945.[7] It remained a public holiday during the era of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia within the SFR Yugoslavia and was celebrated also by the Carinthian Slovenes and the Slovenes in Italy.[citation needed] It was marked with many cultural festivals and remembrances and with school excursions to culturally significant institutions.[citation needed]

The declaration of the Prešeren Day as a work-free day in 1991 was opposed by many,[citation needed] claiming it would bring the banalisation of a holiday designed to be dedicated to cultural events. As a result, 3 December, the anniversary of the poet's birth, has also become widely celebrated as an alternative holiday.[citation needed] Today both days are almost equally celebrated, with no antagonism between the two, although only Prešeren Day in February is officially recognised as a national holiday.[citation needed] Since it became a work-free day, it has become even more highly valued.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Holidays and Days off in the Republic of Slovenia Act: Official Consolidated Text" (PDF). Protocol of the Republic of Slovenia. 30 November 2005. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  2. ^ a b Gabrovšek, D. (January 1984). "Slovenski kulturni praznik" [The Slovene Cultural Holiday]. Naš časopis [Our Newspaper] (in Slovenian). XII (106). Vrhnika: Zavod Ivana Cankarja za kulturo, šport in turizem Vrhnika [Ivan Cankar Institute for Culture, Sport and Tourism Vrhnika]. p. 6.
  3. ^ a b Naglič, Miha (3 February 2008). "Prešernov dan" [Prešeren Day]. Gorenjski glas (in Slovenian). GG Plus. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012.
  4. ^ "Preseren Prizes to Be Presented Tonight". Slovenian Press Agency. 7 February 2009. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  5. ^ Smolej, Viktor (1955). "Prešeren in narodnoosvobodilna vojna" [Prešeren and the National Liberation War]. Kronika: časopis za slovensko krajevno zgodovino [The Chronicle: The Newspaper for the Slovene Place History] (in Slovenian). Zgodovinsko društvo za Slovenijo [Historical Association of Slovenia]. 3 (1): 6.
  6. ^ Globočnik, Damir. Prešeren in likovna umetnost [Prešeren and Visual Arts] (in Slovenian). Celjska Mohorjeva družba. p. 253. ISBN 978-3-7086-0169-4.
  7. ^ Škoro Babić, Aida. "Arhivalija meseca (februar 2011)" [Archivalia of the Month (February 2011)] (in Slovenian). Archives of the Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Culture, Republic of Slovenia. Archived from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2012.