Prešeren Day in Slovenia

February 8 is Prešeren Day in Slovenia marking the death of its greatest literary figure, France Prešeren and celebrating Slovene culture.

It was established in 1945 to raise the cultural consciousness and the self-confidence of the Slovene nation and declared a work-free day in 1991. On February 7, the eve of the holiday, the Prešeren Awards, the highest Slovenian recognition for cultural achievements, are conferred.

The 2019 Prešeren Awards go to filmmaker Filip Robar Dorin, costume designer Bjanka Adžić Ursulov, actress Maruša Majer, and animation artist Dušan Kastelic.

Summarized from

He who from fate receives but blow on blow,
Who, like myself in her disfavour stands,
Although he had a hundred mighty hands,
Would vainly strive for riches here below.

His paths are strewn with thorns where’er he go;
And where he looks for home there soon expands
A sea of woes: against its stormy strands
Waves roll and splash in unremitting flow.

Pursued and tossed about by Care, by Need,
He finds no peace from worries on his road,
Though to the farthest place his search may lead.

And only in the quiet, cold abode,
Which after weary life’s span is decreed,
Will death relieve him of his toilsome load.

France Prešeren
Translated by Janko Larvin

This portrait of France Prešeren was executed by Ivan Grohar, circa 1900.
JPEG file from Pesnikova galerija, Public Domain,

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