Slovenian arts and culture preserved the identity of the nation throughout the centuries. Their culture and common language of Slovene enable the Slovenian people to forge themselves to a nation and survive. Slovenes have an intense attitude toward national culture. Today, Slovenia is the only country in the world that celebrates a day of culture as a national holiday. February 8 is the national day of culture which is also celebrated to commemorate the death anniversary of its greatest poet, France Prešeren. His poetry influenced the first national programme that helped shaped the country’s national identity. One of his wonderful works is A Toast became Slovenia’s national anthem.
The appreciation of Slovenian arts and culture is promoted in children from early years. The Elementary School Act promotes Slovenian culture and tradition. Some of the mandatory subjects include Slovenian language, history, geography and society. Slovenian art is shaped by painters, architects, sculptors, photographers, comics, illustration, graphics artists, and conceptual artists. There is a rich cultural life in every corner of Slovenia not only in major towns. Their rich cultural life can be seen at museums, galleries and cultural centres. There are 45 permanent galleries in the country with over 800 spaces for fine arts exhibited occasionally or permanently. The National Gallery showcases collection of older works while the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana focuses on modern art. Impressionism made Slovenian painting famous throughout Europe in the first half of the 20th century.
There is a range of cultural events and festivals that could satisfy the most demanding guests. Every year Slovenia hosts a number of festivals especially in the summer: the Primorska Cultural Festival, the Ljubljana Festival at Križanke, the festival of early music in Brežice, Maribor’s Lent Festival. Other renowned events include the Ana Desetnica festival of street theatre, the Exodos dance festival in Ljubljana, the Vilenica literary festival near Sežana and the PEN meeting in Bled.
Gambling is one of the most well-known pastimes in Slovenia. Slovenes with a few time and money can just get into the casino and have some fun. There are many games to choose from including different variations of blackjack, bingo, roulette, poker, baccarat, etc. If you feel like unwinding in flashing lights, you will need to visit Slovenia’s casinos. They also have online gambling where you can avail of free bonus bets on horse racing. Most casinos are own and operated by top hotels with rich culture and entertainment programme.
Performance arts are important part of Slovenia’s culture. Folk dances and folk music are still part of traditional celebrations. National Manuscripts and The Institute of Music in Ljubljana maintains an archive of the wide variety of traditional songs set to music. The first Slovenia ballet school was established in 1918 and still continue to perform today. Other dance companies were also formed including contemporary and avant-garde. There are also numerous professional theather groups in the country, including Slovenia’s national theatre, the Youth Theatre and the Puppet Theatre in Ljubljana.
Slovenia has a high literacy rate, the people support literature. They are ranked on the top of European countries in terms of number of books published per head. Ljubljana was selected by Unesco to be the World Book Capital in 2010. And in 2012, Maribor became the European Capital of Culture. Two writers are widely regardes as the fathers of Slovenian culture. Primož Trubar, a Protestant reformer built the foundation for Slovenian literary language. His works were published in the middle of the 16th century. Most celebrated poet, France Prešeren established the first national programme. France Prešeren is the highest the national award given on National Culture Day.
Slovenian musical creativity dates back to the 16th century works of Jacobus Gallus. But professional musicianship in Slovenia began in 1701 when the Philharmonic Society was established. Its top musicians include, pianist Dubravka Tomšič, flautist Irena Grafenauer, and soprano Marjana Lipovšek. There are five professional orchestras in the country with a host of musicians who are famed outside the country. The world famous founders of traditional popular music the Avseniki is a special musical phenomenon. In the field of popular music, Laibach have been a highly influential band in the world for modern alternative music.
Slovenia has a well-developed network of cultural institutions, associations and organisations comparable to developed countries in Europe. Cultural institutions are evenly distributed with government funding. Two thirds of all culture funding comes from the local communities or municipalities. The government finances the national network of institutions in full. They even have institutions for the protection of cultural heritage. The National Library, and Ljubljana’s Cankarjev dom, the main national cultural and congress centre help preserve their culture.