Christmas 2016 in Slovenia

Na vsako manjkajoče mesto v besedilu vstavi ustrezno besedo iz spodnjega nabora. (Fill in each gap with a suitable word from the box below.)

In February next year I will have been living in Slovenia for 10 years – gosh how time flies! My first Christmas here in 2007 was a bit of a culture shock as, at that time, Christmas wasn’t, or at least to me didn’t seem to be, such a big deal – no roast turkey and all the trimmings, no crackers and wearing of silly paper hats (_______________ (1) some might say that’s a bonus!), no shops crammed with Christmas merchandise in September and blaring Christmas jingles for months on end, and just a few low-, or at least lower-key Christmas markets.

Well, things _______________ (2) definitely changed and Christmas is most definitely here in a big(ger) way! With an increasing number of people choosing Slovenia as a destination for a short-break over Christmas/New Year, this blog has a run down of just some of things you can see and do.

As in many other countries in Europe, the evening of the 24th is when most families celebrate and get together for a special meal,  to exchange gifts and/or _______________ (3)midnight mass. It’s worth noting that many restaurants are closed on Christmas Eve, or close earlier than usual. Shops are usually open on the 24th but close a little earlier than usual. All shops are closed on the 25th and again this is a family day, often for some recreational activities perhaps skiing, hiking or visiting relatives. The 26th is also a public holiday, Independence and Unity Day, _______________ (4) again many shops and business will be closed although these days most of the larger ones are open, at least for a few hours in the morning. No Boxing Day Sales – hooray!

Christmas markets take place in all the major cities – the largest being in Ljubljana, where there are numerous markets throughout the city, the main one being alongside the banks of the Ljubljanica river. The festivities _______________ (5) on 25th November with the official switching on of the lights at 5.15pm. There are also numerous concerts and other events taking place throughout the festive period.

My home town of Radovljica, one of the three best-preserved _______________ (6) towns in Slovenia, has a small Advent Market and also looks magical!

Slovenia’s 2nd biggest city, Maribor, switches on its Christmas lights on Friday 25th November. The Christmas programme _______________ (7) a Christmas market, St. Nicholas fair, Artmar fair, city ice-rink, concerts and parties.

Festivities in Bled begin on 2nd December. A Christmas market takes _______________ (8) on the promenade _______________ (9) the south end of Lake Bled. If there’s snow, the island looks even more fairy tale-like!

There are also Christmas markets in Celje and Portorož, as well as smaller local ones in many other towns throughout the country, though these tend to only be open for a few days rather than for the entire advent period.

Throughout Slovenia you will find a host of other festive events and activities, where you can be a _______________ (10) or join in, including live nativities, outdoor ice-rinks, parades and concerts.

The last two years, Christmas has not been ‘white’. However, if it is a white Christmas, then there are a whole host of other possibilities, such as sledging, skiing, snow-shoeing, hiking etc. My parents often spend Christmas here and we have had some memorable Christmas Days, including the one spent hiking on the Pokljuka Plateau.

So, if you are considering Slovenia’s for a Christmas break, then rest assured, you will find plenty to see and do. You can also be safe in the knowledge that you won’t have to pull a cracker and wear a silly hat!

(Adapted from on 20 November 2016)


1 a) tough b) though c) through
2 a) have b) had c) have had
3 a) go b) visit c) attend
4 a) but b) nevertheless c) therefore
5 a) kick off b) kick in c) kick up
6 a) historical b) historic c) historically
7 a) includes b) indicates c) involves
8 a) up b) part c) place
9 a) on b) at c) by
10 a) spectator b) watcher c) bystander

Rešitve naloge / Answer Key