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Many places with festive lights switch-on ceremonies

Festive lights will be switched on in several Slovenian towns and cities to mark the start of a merry December. In many places, this is part of wider events to usher in the festive last month of the year.

Ljubljana offers a varied December programme, including fireworks on New Year's Eve

Ljubljana, already decorated with a Christmas tree in Prešeren Square, is also looking forward to a varied December programme this year. In addition to the New Year's lights, which are switched on every year on the Friday before the first Sunday of Advent, the Municipality of Ljubljana announces several Christmas and New Year fairs and other events. On New Year's Eve, the sky will be lit up by fireworks.

New Year's decorations will be lit on 1 December just after 17:00 on Prešeren Square, and the festive fair will open on that day.

Once again this year, the New Year decorations will be designed by Urban Modic and his colleagues, and the city will be decorated with more than 50 kilometres of light sculptures, lantern garlands and between 850 and 900 different light objects. This year's decoration is called They are Us and carries a very important message of mutual respect. The centrepiece will be the flying saucer in Prešeren Square, which represents the peaceful and respectful meeting of different cultures.

This year, there will be ten decorated spruces in Ljubljana. The central spruce in Prešeren Square is already standing, 20 metres high, and will be decorated with around ten kilometres of lights. It was donated to the municipality by a citizen from Most. The streets will also be decorated with 89 green trees on Wolfova Street, Čopova Street, Stritarjeva Street, Trubarjeva Street, Brego Street, Gallus Embankment and Novi trg, which will be returned to nature after the holidays. As last year, citizens are invited to decorate the green trees with New Year decorations.

For more information about Ljubljana's festive events, visit

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Festive lights are switched on in Maribor

On 30 November, the festive lights are switched on in Maribor, and the city is already getting ready for the Christmas and New Year holidays. The panorama wheel has been reinstalled on the Main Square, Leon Štukelj Square will host catering houses and concerts in the second half of the month, and the Elf City Festival will be held again in the Vetrinjski dvor.

The panorama bike, a novelty introduced last year, is being maintained and has been very well received by the public. This year's bike is newer and bigger than last year's and offers spectacular views not only of the city, but also of the surrounding hills and the Drava Valley.

A Christmas market will be set up in the main square, with stalls offering culinary delights and a gift programme, as well as children's entertainment and music at the weekends. There will also be a few huts in Freedom Square, humanitarian campaigns and presentations.

Find out more about the Festive Maribor on the website

  • Decorated centre of Maribor.

    A Christmas market will be set up in the main square, with food stalls and a gift programme. Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

In Novo mesto, a 33-day pre-New Year's Eve event series with around 70 events

A total of around 70 Advent and other events will be organised in Novo mesto over 33 days at the end of the year. These will start on 5 December with the ceremonial lighting of the seven-kilometre-long light decorations, the arrival of St Nicholas and the opening of the ice rink in the upper part of the Main Square. These events will cost the Municipality of Novo mesto just under €200,000.

The Municipal Institute Novo mesto has conceived the Advent 2023 pre-festive series as a little more than a month-long series of events with a focus on local performers, organisers and suppliers.

On the city's Main Square, all 33 days of events will be accompanied by an Advent market with at least ten to a dozen local vendors and eight caterers. Three days will be dedicated to children's gift-giving.

  • A decorated Tartini Square in Piran.

    Lucija's market, which has been covered with a roof since March, will be transformed into a multifunctional space hosting themed events. The festive atmosphere will be brought to life on 9 December, when the Lucija local community organises the St Lucia celebration, and events will then take place every Saturday for the rest of the year. Photo: Martin Bobič

Piran Municipality organises a rich festive season

Portorož, Piran and Lucija are also preparing for this year's festive events by the sea, including a large ice skating rink in the former Grando salt warehouse. The lights will be switched on in Portorož on 1 December, and the New Year will be welcomed with fireworks and the traditional jump into the sea on Portorož beach.

December events will also take place in the Auditorium, the Tartini Theatre Piran and the Mediadom Pyrhani. There will be dance performances, Christmas shows, comedy and concerts.

The events will start on 1 December in the park of the Kempinski Palace Portorož Hotel, when festive lights will be switched on, with a performance by the band BQL. At the same time, the Grando salt warehouse will open its ice skating rink, which will cover 3,762 square metres and will be, according to the municipality, the largest indoor ice skating rink of its kind on the Slovenian coast.

  • New Year decorations.

    Photo: Ukom archive

Fairytale Celje at eight locations with more than 60 events this year

Fairytale Celje, which will kick off this year on 2 December with the lighting of festive lights, will feature more than 60 events in eight locations. Around 70,000 visitors are expected to attend their festive events this year, similar to last year.

The Fairytale Celje programme will run for 30 days this year, and will be aimed at families, Advent destination lovers and culinary explorers from Celje, as well as from all over Slovenia and the countries bordering Slovenia.

Most of the events will take place outdoors. This year, the lights will be on until 6 January. It will be accompanied by an ambient soundscape. Nearly 125,000 tiny LED lights, 600 metres of light tubes, 56 light-up characters, 400 non-light-up decorations, festive signs, glow balls and characters in photo corners will create a fairy-tale impression in the city.

More about events in Celje on the website

Author: Vesna Žarkovič

Date: 29. November 2023

Time to read: 3 min