How is Easter celebrated in Slovenia

Happy Easter holidays everybody!

I received many questions these days: What do you do on Easter? What will you eat? Do you have any special traditions? So here is a little article about this subject.

Easter is one of the most important holidays in Christian celebrations, celebrating the Christ’s resurrection.

Slovenia is not a very religious country with only 19% of population actively practising religion, 21% practising on their own and massive 60% being not-believers (source: Wikipedia). Yes, we are one of the most non-religious country in Europe for sure.

In census 2002 people in Slovenia said they are:

  • 57,8% are Catholics,
  • 10,1% are non-believers,
  • 0,9% are Protestants,
  • 2,3 are Orthodox (mainly Serbian Orthodox),
  • 2,4% are Muslim
  • and some other.

Christmas and Easter in particular are the two feasts that even non-believers celebrate. Colouring the eggs, preparing traditional Easter food, family gatherings..

On Holy Thursday (Veliki četrtek) you remember the Last Supper and the suffering of the Christ. From Friday evening until Saturday evening you won’t hear any church bells – instead they use raglja to call for service.

On Holy Friday (Veliki petek) there is no holy mass – but ceremonies, reminding of the suffering of the Christ and his death. There is also a fast which is generally respected in the public, but in much lower numbers than preparation of the traditional food.

On Holy Saturday (Velika sobota) men bring blessed fire from the church in the morning with which later on the food is prepared. Women bring the traditional food to the church in a wicker basket (represents Jesus’s grave), covered by a cloth (representing the cloth Jesus was wrapped into), to be blessed.

The traditional food has its own special meaning and most often includes:

  • Easter eggs (“pirhi”) represent the Christ blood drops (should be at least five, red colour) and also his rising and hope.
  • Horse radish represents the nails (should be three of them, for each nail).
  • Potica (kind of cake) represents the crown of Christ.
  • Smoked ham (“šunka”) and bread represent the body of Christ.
  • Sausages represent the ropes.
  • Roast beef represent the Lamp of God.
  • An orange represents the sponge soaked in vinegar that he drank from.
  • And other local food, for example “budel” in my region (Gorenjska).

Easter food in Slovenia: Easter Eggs (pirhi)

Easter food in Slovenia: potica

Easter food in Slovenia: šunka

Easter food in Slovenia: budel

Holy Sunday (Velika noč) is the most important day in Easter because on this day Christ woke up from the dead. It is this day when the blessed food is eaten as breakfast. A real family gathering!

Holy Monday (Velikonočni ponedeljek) is generally work-free day. On this day you visit your family and friends.

To read more about Easter, read Wikipedia article. What I love most about Easter are the Easter Eggs. We call them in many different ways: most often pirhi, but also velikonočna jajca, pisanice, pisance, rumenke.. It is fun colouring them and I have great memories of that from my childhood. 

belokranjska pisanka


This is an example of traditional Easter Eggs from Metlika area.



This is an artistic Easter Egg, called Vrhniški pirh, created by Franc Grom. He makes them by drilling little holes with the electric drill.  

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